Encourage One Another Quotes

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I'm coming back into focus when Caesar asks him if he has a girlfriend back home. Peeta hesitates, then gives an unconvincing shake of his head. Handsome lad like you. There must be some special girl. Come on, what’s her name?" says Caesar. Peeta sighs. "Well, there is this one girl. I’ve had a crush on her ever since I can remember. But I’m pretty sure she didn’t know I was alive until the reaping." Sounds of sympathy from the crowd. Unrequited love they can relate to. She have another fellow?" asks Caesar. I don’t know, but a lot of boys like her," says Peeta. So, here’s what you do. You win, you go home. She can’t turn you down then, eh?" says Caesar encouragingly. I don’t think it’s going to work out. Winning...won’t help in my case," says Peeta. Why ever not?" says Caesar, mystified. Peeta blushes beet red and stammers out. "Because...because...she came here with me.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged. Missing me one place, search another. I stop somewhere waiting for you.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
I think the act of reading imbues the reader with a sensitivity toward the outside world that people who don't read can sometimes lack. I know it seems like a contradiction in terms; after all reading is such a solitary, internalizing act that it appears to represent a disengagement from day-to-day life. But reading, and particularly the reading of fiction, encourages us to view the world in new and challenging ways...It allows us to inhabit the consciousness of another which is a precursor to empathy, and empathy is, for me, one of the marks of a decent human being.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
But there was another, secret Ruby. This one was as thin as a wisp of air, and had struggled for so long just to be. This was the one that Liam carried with him, without knowing. The one that would ride in his back pocket, whisper words of encouragement, tell him he was born to chase the light.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
It is impossible for anyone to be responsible for another person's behavior. The most you or any leader can do is to encourage each one to be responsible for himself.
Robert A. Heinlein
...it’s just another one of those things I don’t understand: everyone impresses upon you how unique you are, encouraging you to cultivate your individuality while at the same time trying to squish you and everyone else into the same ridiculous mould. It’s an artist’s right to rebel against the world’s stupidity.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles. You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, But I shall be good help to you nevertheless And filter and fiber your blood. Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one place search another, I stop some where waiting for you
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, But I shall be good health to you nevertheless, And filter and fibre your blood. Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one place search another, I stop somewhere waiting for you.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that's all that's happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness--life's painful aspect--softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody's eyes because you feel you haven't got anything to lose--you're just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We'd be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn't have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.
Pema Chödrön (Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living)
Encourage, lift and strengthen one another. For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all. For we are connected, one and all.
Deborah Day
By acting compassionately, by helping to restore justice and to encourage peace, we are acknowledging that we are all part of one another.
Ram Dass
When I knew I couldn't suffer another moment of pain, and tears fell on my bloody bindings, my mother spoke softly into my ear, encouraging me to go one more hour, one more day, one more week, reminding me of the rewards I would have if I carried on a little longer. In this way, she taught me how to endure — not just the physical trials of footbinding and childbearing but the more torturous pain of the heart, mind, and soul.
Lisa See (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan)
That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence built.
Abraham Lincoln
I believe that telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act. It is an act that can be met with hostility, exclusion, and violence. It can also lead to love, understanding, transcendence, and community. I hope that my being real with you will help empower you to step into who you are and encourage you to share yourself with those around you.
Janet Mock (Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More)
The church exists primarily for two closely correlated purposes: to worship God and to work for his kingdom in the world ... The church also exists for a third purpose, which serves the other two: to encourage one another, to build one another up in faith, to pray with and for one another, to learn from one another and teach one another, and to set one another examples to follow, challenges to take up, and urgent tasks to perform. This is all part of what is known loosely as fellowship.
N.T. Wright (Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense)
The one encouragement we can always give our children (and one another) is that God is more powerful than our sin, and He's strong enough to make us want to do the right thing.
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick (Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus)
I have faith in God to put me where I need to be at the right time, and to put on my heart what I’m called to do… Sometimes we’re called to be very proactive about one thing, and then in another season, we’re supposed to let it go, trust God and pick up something else. You have to be in constant prayer and connected with the Holy Spirit to lead you.
Lacey Sturm
Encourage, lift and strenthen one another. For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all.
Deborah Day
Each of us has his place in the world " he said. "If we cannot serve in one way there is always another. If we do what we are able a door always opens to something else.
Marguerite de Angeli (The Door in the Wall)
It's one thing to give out excellent advice, but quite another to personally swallow it.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, ackowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.
Jim Stovall
Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Joyce Meyer (Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind)
Sorry,” Kiersten says to Lake and I. “Mom says the FCC is responsible for inventing cusswords just for media shock value. She says if everyone would just use them enough, they wouldn’t be considered cusswords anymore and no one would ever be offended by them” This kid is hard to keep up with! “Your mother encourages you to cuss?” Gavin says. Kiersten nods. “I don’t see it that way. It’s more like she’s encouraging us to undermine a system flawed through overuse of words that are made out to be harmful, when in fact they’re just letters, mixed together like every other word. That’s all they are, mixed up letters. Like, take the word “butterfly” for example. What if someone decided one day that butterfly is a cussword? People would eventually start using butterfly as an insult, and to emphasize things in a negative way. The actual WORD doesn’t mean anything. It’s the negative association people give these words that make them cusswords. So if we all just decided to keep saying butterfly all the time, eventually people would stop caring. The shock value would subside…and it would just become another word again. Same with every other so-called bad word. If we would all just start saying them all the time, They wouldn’t be bad anymore. That’s what my mom says anyway.” “Kiersten?” Eddie says. “Will you be my new best friend?” Lake grabs a french fry off her plate and throws it at Eddie, hitting her in the face with it. “That’s Bullshit,” Lake says. “Oh, go BUTTERFLY yourself,” Eddie says. She returns a fry in Lakes direction.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
Peeta sighs. "Well, there is this one girl. I’ve had a crush on her ever since I can remember. But I’m pretty sure she didn’t know I was alive until the reaping." Sounds of sympathy from the crowd. Unrequited love they can relate to. She have another fellow?" asks Caesar. I don’t know, but a lot of boys like her," says Peeta. So, here’s what you do. You win, you go home. She can’t turn you down then, eh?" says Caesar encouraging-ly. I don’t think it’s going to work out. Winning...won’t help in my case," says Peeta. Why ever not?" says Caesar, mystified. Peeta blushes beet red and stammers out. "Because...because...she came here with me.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
All over the world there were families deciding to care about each other and encourage one another along the paths God had given them.
Regina Jennings (Caught in the Middle (Ladies of Caldwell County, #3))
How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in home, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice . . . Nothing divides them either in flesh or in spirit . . . They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God's church and partake God's banquet, side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another; they never shun each other's company; they never bring sorrow to each other's hearts . . . Seeing this Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present.
Tertullian
The last scud of day holds back for me, It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadow'd wilds, It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk. I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun, I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags. I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles. You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, But I shall be good health to your nevertheless, And filter and fibre your blood. Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one place, search another, I stop somewhere waiting for you.
Walt Whitman
You can’t divide the country up into sections and have one rule for one section and one rule for another, and you can’t encourage people’s prejudices. You have to appeal to people’s best instincts, not their worst ones. You may win an election or so by doing the other, but it does a lot of harm to the country.
Jon Meacham (The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels)
We need relationships that are so shaped by the gospel that we will exhort and encourage one another to trust Jesus every single day. We need gospel-centered discipleship.
Jonathan K. Dodson (Gospel-Centered Discipleship)
No human being should be maltreated under any circumstances. We are all wonderful creation of God. May we affectionately love one another.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Not in order to justify, but simply in order to explain my lack of consistency, I say: Look at my present life and then at my former life, and you will see that I do attempt to carry them out. It is true that I have not fulfilled one thousandth part of them [Christian precepts], and I am ashamed of this, but I have failed to fulfill them not because I did not wish to, but because I was unable to. Teach me how to escape from the net of temptations that surrounds me, help me and I will fulfill them; even without help I wish and hope to fulfill them. Attack me, I do this myself, but attack me rather than the path I follow and which I point out to anyone who asks me where I think it lies. If I know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way because I am staggering from side to side! If it is not the right way, then show me another way; but if I stagger and lose the way, you must help me, you must keep me on the true path, just as I am ready to support you. Do not mislead me, do not be glad that I have got lost, do not shout out joyfully: “Look at him! He said he was going home, but there he is crawling into a bog!” No, do not gloat, but give me your help and support.
Leo Tolstoy
A culture that allows the concept of “safety” to creep so far that it equates emotional discomfort with physical danger is a culture that encourages people to systematically protect one another from the very experiences embedded in daily life that they need in order to become strong and healthy.
Greg Lukianoff (The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure)
I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runway sun, I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love. If you want me again look for me under your boot soles. You will hardly know who I am or what I mean. Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, missing me one place search another, I stop somewhere waiting for you
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
The most influential people you will ever meet were once held together by the encouragement of others.
Shannon L. Alder
May we love each other with brotherly love. Love cast out all fears.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
I was born free, and that I might live in freedom I chose the solitude of the fields; in the trees of the mountains I find society, the clear waters of the brooks are my mirrors, and to the trees and waters I make known my thoughts and charms. I am a fire afar off, a sword laid aside. Those whom I have inspired with love by letting them see me, I have by words undeceived, and if their longings live on hope—and I have given none to Chrysostom or to any other—it cannot justly be said that the death of any is my doing, for it was rather his own obstinacy than my cruelty that killed him; and if it be made a charge against me that his wishes were honourable, and that therefore I was bound to yield to them, I answer that when on this very spot where now his grave is made he declared to me his purity of purpose, I told him that mine was to live in perpetual solitude, and that the earth alone should enjoy the fruits of my retirement and the spoils of my beauty; and if, after this open avowal, he chose to persist against hope and steer against the wind, what wonder is it that he should sink in the depths of his infatuation? If I had encouraged him, I should be false; if I had gratified him, I should have acted against my own better resolution and purpose. He was persistent in spite of warning, he despaired without being hated. Bethink you now if it be reasonable that his suffering should be laid to my charge. Let him who has been deceived complain, let him give way to despair whose encouraged hopes have proved vain, let him flatter himself whom I shall entice, let him boast whom I shall receive; but let not him call me cruel or homicide to whom I make no promise, upon whom I practise no deception, whom I neither entice nor receive. It has not been so far the will of Heaven that I should love by fate, and to expect me to love by choice is idle. Let this general declaration serve for each of my suitors on his own account, and let it be understood from this time forth that if anyone dies for me it is not of jealousy or misery he dies, for she who loves no one can give no cause for jealousy to any, and candour is not to be confounded with scorn. Let him who calls me wild beast and basilisk, leave me alone as something noxious and evil; let him who calls me ungrateful, withhold his service; who calls me wayward, seek not my acquaintance; who calls me cruel, pursue me not; for this wild beast, this basilisk, this ungrateful, cruel, wayward being has no kind of desire to seek, serve, know, or follow them. If Chrysostom's impatience and violent passion killed him, why should my modest behaviour and circumspection be blamed? If I preserve my purity in the society of the trees, why should he who would have me preserve it among men, seek to rob me of it? I have, as you know, wealth of my own, and I covet not that of others; my taste is for freedom, and I have no relish for constraint; I neither love nor hate anyone; I do not deceive this one or court that, or trifle with one or play with another. The modest converse of the shepherd girls of these hamlets and the care of my goats are my recreations; my desires are bounded by these mountains, and if they ever wander hence it is to contemplate the beauty of the heavens, steps by which the soul travels to its primeval abode.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
It only takes a few politicians to stoke division, or a few demagogues encouraging hatred to set your kind upon one another. And then before you know it, you have a whole nation biting on its own tail, going round and round until there is nothing left but the snapping of teeth.
Paolo Bacigalupi (The Drowned Cities (Ship Breaker, #2))
When bosses are too invested in everyone getting along they also fail to encourage the people on their team to criticize one another other for fear of sowing discord. They create the kind of work environment where being "nice" is prioritized at the expense of critiquing and therefore improving actual performance.
Kim Malone Scott (Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity)
As a writer you slant all evidence in favor of the conclusions you want to produce and you rarely tilt in favor of the truth. ...This is what a writer does: his life is a maelstrom of lying. Embellishment is his focal point. This is what we do to please others. This is what we do in order to flee ourselves. A writer's physical life is basically one of stasis, and to combat this constraint, an opposite world and another self have to be constructed daily. ...the half world of a writer's life encourages pain and drama, and defeat is good for art: if it was day we made it night, if it was love we made it hate, serenity becomes chaos, kindness became viciousness, God became the devil, a daugher became a whore. I had been inordinately rewarded for participating in this process, and lying often leaked from my writing life--an enclosed sphere of consciousness, a place suspended outside of time, where the untruths flowed onto the whiteness of a blank screen--into the part of me that was tactile and alive.
Bret Easton Ellis (Lunar Park)
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
They were supposed to grow up with their hands in each other’s pockets, compensating for one another’s weaknesses, encouraging one another’s strengths.
Seanan McGuire (Middlegame (Middlegame, #1))
When I knew I couldn't suffer another moment of pain, and tears fell on my bloody bindings, my mother spoke softly into my ear, encouraging me to go one more hour, one more day, one more week, reminding me of the rewards I would have if I carried on a little longer. In this way, she taught me how to endure--not just the physical trials of footbinding and childbearing but the more tortuous pain of the heart, mind, and soul. She was also pointing out my defects and teaching me how to use them to my benefit. In our country, we call this type of mother love teng ai. My son has told me that in men's writing it is composed of two characters. The first means pain; the second means love. That is a mother's love.
Lisa See (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan)
Do we not see the influence we have when we say we believe in one thing, but our children see us living something else? Do we not realize how little we encourage our children to actually decide what they believe, declare what they believe, and then live by it? Whether it’s religion, politics, sports, or societal norms. It is not our place to tell our kids what to think. It is our place to teach our kids to think correctly. If we do this, we need have no fear of what they will decide for themselves and how strongly they’ll stand behind it. A man will follow his own convictions to his death, but he’ll only follow another man’s convictions until he steps in manure.
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing)
What a mighty nation, we will be, if we encourage one another?
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Her mind moved around and around the subject, moving with a kind of fuzzy firmness. With no coherent thought process, she arrived at a conviction - a habit with the basically insecure; an insecurity whose seeds are invariably planted earlier, in under or over-protectiveness, in a distrust in parental authority which becomes all authority. It can later, with maturity - a flexible concept - be laughed away, dispelled by determined clear thinking. Or it can be encouraged by self-abusive resentment and brooding self-pity. It can grow ever greater until the original authority becomes intolerable, and a change becomes imperative. Not to a radical one in thinking; that would be too troublesome, too painful. The change is simply to authority in another guise which, in time, and under any great stress, must be distrusted and resented even more than the first.
Jim Thompson (The Getaway)
When you need encouragement, think of the qualities the people around you have: this one’s energy, that one’s modesty, another’s generosity, and so on. Nothing is as encouraging as when virtues are visibly embodied in the people around us, when we’re practically showered with them. It’s good to keep this in mind.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Fynn, I love you.' When Anna said that, every word was shattered with the fullness of meaning she packed into it. Her 'I' was a totality. Whatever this 'I' was for Anna it was packed tight with being. Like the light that didn't fray, Anna's 'I' didn't fray either; it was pure and all of one piece. Her use of the word 'love' was not sentimental or mushy, it was impelling and full of courage and encouragement. For Anna, 'love' meant the recognition of perfectibility in another. Anna 'saw' a person in every part. Anna 'saw' a 'you'. Now that is something to experience, to be seen as a 'you', clearly and definitely, with no parts hidden. Wonderful and frightening. I'd always understood that it was Mister God who saw you clearly and in your entirety but then all Anna's efforts were directed to being like Mister God, so perhaps the trick is catching if only you try hard enough.
Fynn
Supposing you hear a cry for help from a man in danger. You will probably feel two desires - one a desire to give help (due to your herd instinct), the other a desire to keep out of danger (due to the instinct for self-preservation). But you will find inside you, in addition to these two impulses, a third thing which tells you that you ought to follow the impulse to help, and suppress the impulse to run away. Now this thing that judges between two instincts, that decides which should be encouraged, cannot itself be either of them. You might as well say that the sheet of music which tells you, at a given moment, to play one note on the piano and not another, is itself one of the notes on the keyboard. The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
This is a powder that when applied to the air causes ghosts to become visible,” Henry said. Magnus tilted the jar of shining grains up to the lamp admiringly, and when Henry beamed in an encouraging fashion, Magnus removed the cork. “It seems very fine to me,” he said, and on a whim he poured it upon his hand. It coated his brown skin, gloving one hand in shimmering luminescence. “And in addition to its practical uses, it would seem to work for cosmetic purposes. This powder would make my very skin glimmer for eternity.” Henry frowned. “Not eternity,” he said, but then he brightened. “But I could make you up another batch whenever you please!” “I could shine at will!” Magnus grinned at Henry
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
We cannot, of course, expect every leader to possess the wisdom of Lincoln or Mandela’s largeness of soul. But when we think about what questions might be most useful to ask, perhaps we should begin by discerning what our prospective leaders believe it worthwhile for us to hear. Do they cater to our prejudices by suggesting that we treat people outside our ethnicity, race, creed or party as unworthy of dignity and respect? Do they want us to nurture our anger toward those who we believe have done us wrong, rub raw our grievances and set our sights on revenge? Do they encourage us to have contempt for our governing institutions and the electoral process? Do they seek to destroy our faith in essential contributors to democracy, such as an independent press, and a professional judiciary? Do they exploit the symbols of patriotism, the flag, the pledge in a conscious effort to turn us against one another? If defeated at the polls, will they accept the verdict, or insist without evidence they have won? Do they go beyond asking about our votes to brag about their ability to solve all problems put to rest all anxieties and satisfy every desire? Do they solicit our cheers by speaking casually and with pumped up machismo about using violence to blow enemies away? Do they echo the attitude of Musolini: “The crowd doesn’t have to know, all they have to do is believe and submit to being shaped.”? Or do they invite us to join with them in building and maintaining a healthy center for our society, a place where rights and duties are apportioned fairly, the social contract is honored, and all have room to dream and grow. The answers to these questions will not tell us whether a prospective leader is left or right-wing, conservative or liberal, or, in the American context, a Democrat or a Republican. However, they will us much that we need to know about those wanting to lead us, and much also about ourselves. For those who cherish freedom, the answers will provide grounds for reassurance, or, a warning we dare not ignore.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
To love is surely to support and to encourage--but not necessarily to approve. Quite the contrary! If we love one another we will help one another fight against our evil dreams.
William Sloane Coffin
Encouraging girls to explore sexuality within mutually caring, emotionally connected relationships is one thing; insisting on it is another.
Peggy Orenstein (Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape)
But requiring a person to disappear, to fade into the background wherever they go, is no better than encouraging them to punch one another.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
One of the most important things that a woman can do in her life is to encourage another woman to succeed.
Michelle E. Lowe
How we treat one another matters, and not just in a "it's nice to be nice" kind of way: our behavior contributes to an environment that encourages some opportunities and hinders others.
Clay Shirky (Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age)
So, what happens in the world is that everybody is fighting somebody. One man is lesser than another man. There is no love, there is no consideration, there is no thought. Each man wants to become somebody. A member of parliament wants to become the leader of the parliament, to become the prime minister, and so on and on and on. There is perpetual fighting, and our society is one constant struggle of one man against another, and this struggle is called the ambition to be something. Old people encourage you to do that. You must be ambitious, you must be something, you must marry a rich man or a rich woman, you must have the right kind of friends. So, the older generation, those who are frightened, those who are ugly in their hearts, try to make you like them, and you also want to be like them because you see the glamour of it all. When the governor comes, everybody bows...
Jiddu Krishnamurti (What are you Doing with your Life? (Books on Living for Teens))
And yet, in certain ways, the Institute did remind them of other schools: Rote memorization of lessons was discouraged but required; class participation was encouraged but rarely permitted; and although quizzes were given every day, in every class, there was always at least one student who groaned, another who acted surprised, and another who begged the teacher, in vain, not to give it.
Trenton Lee Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society)
Mowing the lawn, I felt like I was battling the earth rather than working it; each week it sent forth a green army and each week I beat it back with my infernal machine. Unlike every other plant in my garden, the grasses were anonymous, massified, deprived of any change or development whatsoever, not to mention any semblance of self-determination. I ruled a totalitarian landscape. Hot monotonous hours behind the mower gave rise to existential speculations. I spent part of one afternoon trying to decide who, it the absurdist drama of lawn mowing, was Sisyphus. Me? The case could certainly be made. Or was it the grass, pushing up through the soil every week, one layer of cells at a time, only to be cut down and then, perversely, encouraged (with lime, fertilizer, etc.) to start the whole doomed process over again? Another day it occurred to me that time as we know it doesn't exist in the lawn, since grass never dies or is allowed to flower and set seed. Lawns are nature purged of sex or death. No wonder Americans like them so much.
Michael Pollan (Second Nature: A Gardener's Education)
When all that says 'it is good' has been debunked, what says 'I want' remains. (...) The Conditioners, therefore, must come to be motivated simply by their own pleasure. (...) My point is that those who stand outside all judgements of value cannot have any ground for preferring one of their own impulses to another except the emotional strength of that impulse. (...) I am very doubtful myself whether the benevolent impulses, stripped of that preference and encouragement which the Tao teaches us to give them and left to their merely natural strength and frequency as psychological events, will have much influence. I am very doubtful whether history shows us one example of a man who, having stepped outside traditional morality and attained power, has used that power benevolently.
C.S. Lewis (The Abolition of Man)
I did tell you, I always tell you. Not all the time, because nothing is ever done so I stopped telling my teachers. If one teacher isn’t around—I would tell another teacher, but he/she too will ignore what I am saying.
Charlena E. Jackson (Teachers Just Don't Understand Bullying Hurts)
The Bible encourages us to “serve one another in love.” One of the ways you can work this out in your marriage is first to ask yourself, “Whose needs will this conversation serve?” Your needs and those of your husband often cannot be met in the same conversation. When it’s your husband’s turn to talk, practice staying in the box he wants to open. You see, when he brings up an issue for discussion, he actually intends to talk about that issue alone.
Bill Farrel (Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti)
most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has marketed Diet Coke around the world under the slogan ‘Diet Coke. Do what feels good.’ Even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order. Let’s consider, for example, the popular desire to take a holiday abroad. There is nothing natural or obvious about this. A chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday into the territory of a neighbouring chimpanzee band. The elite of ancient Egypt spent their fortunes building pyramids and having their corpses mummified, but none of them thought of going shopping in Babylon or taking a skiing holiday in Phoenicia. People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. 18. The Great Pyramid of Giza. The kind of thing rich people in ancient Egypt did with their money. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country – they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfil our human potential, and make us happier. Consequently, when the relationship between a millionaire and his wife is going through a rocky patch, he takes her on an expensive trip to Paris. The trip is not a reflection of some independent desire, but rather of an ardent belief in the myths of romantic consumerism. A wealthy man in ancient Egypt would never have dreamed of solving a relationship crisis by taking his wife on holiday to Babylon. Instead, he might have built for her the sumptuous tomb she had always wanted. Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids. Only the names, shapes and sizes of these pyramids change from one culture to the other. They may take the form, for example, of a suburban cottage with a swimming pool and an evergreen lawn, or a gleaming penthouse with an enviable view. Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
An attachment grew up. What is an attachment? It is the most difficult of all the human interrelationships to explain, because it is the vaguest, the most impalpable. It has all the good points of love, and none of its drawbacks. No jealousy, no quarrels, no greed to possess, no fear of losing possession, no hatred (which is very much a part of love), no surge of passion and no hangover afterward. It never reaches the heights, and it never reaches the depths. As a rule it comes on subtly. As theirs did. As a rule the two involved are not even aware of it at first. As they were not. As a rule it only becomes noticeable when it is interrupted in some way, or broken off by circumstances. As theirs was. In other words, its presence only becomes known in its absence. It is only missed after it stops. While it is still going on, little thought is given to it, because little thought needs to be. It is pleasant to meet, it is pleasant to be together. To put your shopping packages down on a little wire-backed chair at a little table at a sidewalk cafe, and sit down and have a vermouth with someone who has been waiting there for you. And will be waiting there again tomorrow afternoon. Same time, same table, same sidewalk cafe. Or to watch Italian youth going through the gyrations of the latest dance craze in some inexpensive indigenous night-place-while you, who come from the country where the dance originated, only get up to do a sedate fox trot. It is even pleasant to part, because this simply means preparing the way for the next meeting. One long continuous being-together, even in a love affair, might make the thing wilt. In an attachment it would surely kill the thing off altogether. But to meet, to part, then to meet again in a few days, keeps the thing going, encourages it to flower. And yet it requires a certain amount of vanity, as love does; a desire to please, to look one's best, to elicit compliments. It inspires a certain amount of flirtation, for the two are of opposite sex. A wink of understanding over the rim of a raised glass, a low-voiced confidential aside about something and the smile of intimacy that answers it, a small impromptu gift - a necktie on the one part because of an accidental spill on the one he was wearing, or of a small bunch of flowers on the other part because of the color of the dress she has on. So it goes. And suddenly they part, and suddenly there's a void, and suddenly they discover they have had an attachment. Rome passed into the past, and became New York. Now, if they had never come together again, or only after a long time and in different circumstances, then the attachment would have faded and died. But if they suddenly do come together again - while the sharp sting of missing one another is still smarting - then the attachment will revive full force, full strength. But never again as merely an attachment. It has to go on from there, it has to build, to pick up speed. And sometimes it is so glad to be brought back again that it makes the mistake of thinking it is love. ("For The Rest Of Her Life")
Cornell Woolrich (Angels of Darkness)
It’s one thing to have a support system in your life to cheer you on during the instances when everyone is rooting for you. However, it’s another thing entirely to look back in your darkest moments and still see them standing in your corner, encouraging you to stay in the ring and FIGHT, when the odds aren’t in your favor and all you want to do is throw in the towel. Not many people in this life will be on your side even when they aren’t on your side. Even less who momentarily will slam doors out of frustration but never actually lock you out. Unconditional love; the definition of sister.
Alicia Cook (Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately)
Not much about California, on its own preferred terms, has encouraged its children to see themselves as connected to one another.
Joan Didion (Where I Was From)
Hebrews 10:24 (NLT), “Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.
Mark McNees (Immersion)
I believe that the most important thing for a couple of any sort, to realize in their relationship with each other (and please allow me to share this with you), is that neither are a limited source. You see, the idea of the soul is that it is eternal and that it continually receives from an Eternal Source. So the idea in any relationship is never really what you can get from it; but the idea is what you can give to the other, what you can put into it. Withdrawing from eternity— and depositing into the physical realm. Of course, as you both give, you are also both receiving from one another, thus a beautiful relationship is formed and maintained. It's that certain flow that needs to be encouraged and allowed. I say "allowed" because it's natural, however, it's usually not "allowed" because our human faculties are taught and bombarded by stupid ideas in magazines that relationships are all about what one can get from it; it's never about giving! So in a nutshell, the idea is to give because you know that you are receiving from an Everlasting Source, but to also remain graceful and eager enough to also receive gratefully from the other. And this is how eternal relationships are born. We are all conduits of eternity and we happen to meet another conduit whom we feel we belong with, then we share what we receive from eternity and receive what the other has to share.
C. JoyBell C.
O Heavenly Children, the stories you have concocted in God's name have angered Him; for he would never instigate war between brothers, or encourage tribes to harbor resentment towards one another. He prefers the man who loves over the one who hates. And the man who spreads kindness, peace and knowledge, over the one who spreads lies, fear and terror — and misuses His name.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand.... nor look through the eyes of the dead.... nor feed on the spectres in books. I tramp a perpetual journey All goes onward and outward.... and nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier. If no other in the world be aware I sit content, And if each and all be aware I sit content. The final three stanzas of 'Song of Myself" were also highlighted. I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles. You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, But I shall be good health to your nevertheless, And filter and fibre your blood. Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one places search another, I stop some where waiting for you It became a weekend of reading, of trying to see her in the fragments of the poem she'd left for me. I could never get anywhere with the lines, but I kepr thinking about them anyway, becase I didn't want to disappoint her. She wanted me to play out with the string, to find the place where she had stopped and was waiting for me, to follow the bread crumb trail until it dead-ended into her.
John Green (Paper Towns)
We must define a story which encourages us to make use of the place where we live without killing it, and we must understand that the living world cannot be replicated. There will never be another setup like the one in which we thrived. Ruin it and we will have lost ourselves, and that is craziness.
William Kittredge (Hole in the Sky: A Memoir)
Yes, it struck her now that this whole business of the bull was like a life; the important birth, the fair chance, the tentative, then assured, then half-dispairing circulations of the ring, an obstacle negotiated - a feat improperly recognized - boredom, resignation, collapse: then another, more convulsive birth, a new start; the circumspect endeavours to obtain one's bearings in a world now frankly hostile, the apparent but deceptive encouragement of one's judges, half of whom were asleep, the swervings into the beginnings of disaster because of that same negligible obstacle one had surely taken before at a stride, the final enmeshment in the toils of enemies one was never quite certain weren't friends more clumsy than actively ill-disposed, followed by disaster, capitulation, disintegration.
Malcolm Lowry (Under the Volcano)
When you need encouragement, think of the qualities the people around you have: this one’s energy, that one’s modesty, another’s generosity, and so on. Nothing is as encouraging as when virtues are visibly embodied in the people around us, when we’re practically showered with them. It’s good to keep this in mind.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
The practical consequence of both of the teachings noted is to encourage homosexual promiscuity. Church members can engage in many short-term liaisons without raising questions about their standing in the church. We tend not to pry into one another's private lives. But if a man brings another man to church with him regularly, if they give the same address and show signs of mutual affection, then there is likely to be a scandal. The dominant effect of church teaching is to encourage secret, temporary liaisons without commitment and to discourage long-term fidelity.
Walter Wink (Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches)
But that delusional urge is only one of the varieties of self-deception that encourage us to believe we know another human being and, for that matter, ourselves. This faith in having the measure of others really becomes unstuck when you begin to consider how many you’d acknowledge as having the measure of you. That number dwindles before your eyes.
Zia Haider Rahman (In the Light of What We Know)
In the end, it is up to us to instruct, inspire, and encourage one another by what we do and how we live. We must all, in this sense, be activists. If we want more connection, we must work harder to connect with others. If we want more unity, we must work to be uniters. If we want more leadership, then we must lead. The most profound changes in our country have come when individuals joined with other individuals in the stubborn belief that they could make change.
Cory Booker (United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good)
God doesn't call us to mediocrity. He calls us to a greater standard that doesn't teach us to tear people down to reach him, but to lift others up. Be the type of person that when people walk away from you, they know who you represent!
Shannon L. Alder
AN ARTIST’S PRAYER O Great Creator, We are gathered together in your name That we may be of greater service to you And to our fellows. We offer ourselves to you as instruments. We open ourselves to your creativity in our lives. We surrender to you our old ideas. We welcome your new and more expansive ideas. We trust that you will lead us. We trust that it is safe to follow you. We know you created us and that creativity Is your nature and our own. We ask you to unfold our lives According to your plan, not our low self-worth. Help us to believe that it is not too late And that we are not too small or too flawed To be healed— By you and through each other—and made whole. Help us to love one another, To nurture each other’s unfolding, To encourage each other’s growth, And understand each other’s fears. Help us to know that we are not alone, That we are loved and lovable. Help us to create as an act of worship to you.
Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity)
Blessed is the man who has the gift of making friends; for it is one of God's best gifts. It involves many things, but above all, the power of going out of oneself, and seeing and appreciating whatever is noble and living in another man.
Thomas Hughes (Tom Brown at Oxford)
When I have too much information or too many choices, I often get confused. • When one wants to encourage another to learn what ”I know that you don’t know,” encourage them to engage in deep thought on a topic you suggest. Deep thought is a positive activity that doesn’t blame and results in both a thinking process and outputs/outcomes that are positive.
Dennis Cogswell
Everyone has, at one time or another, experienced trauma related to family, children or business. This, in fact, represents a kind of maturity. Every trauma that you have experienced reminds you that nothing in this world is perfect or permanent.
Master Jun Hong Lu
Your future is in God's hands, but He does not promise you marriage. Finding a spouse is a free will process, in which two people decide to sacrifice themselves for each other's benefit. Marriage is not some predetermined process that happens mysteriously. You will become very frustrated if you think that God mystically pairs people up. He does not unite people by overriding their minds and wills. God brings people together and encourages them to love one another but lets them decide their relational future.
Rob Eagar
The most dangerous thing of all, and something he wanted to warn me about above all else, the one thing that had consigned whole regiments of unfortunate young people to the twilight world of insanity, was reading books. This objectionable practice had increased among the younger generation, and Dad was more pleased than the could say to not that I had not yet displayed any such tendencies. Lunatic asylums were overflowing with folk who'd been reading too much. Once upon a time they'd been just like you and me, physically strong, straightforward, cheerful, and well balanced. Then they'd started reading. Most often by chance. A bout of flu perhaps, with a few days in bed. An attractive book cover that had aroused some curiosity. And suddenly the bad habit had taken hold. The first book had led to another. Then another, and another, all links in a chain that led straight down into the eternal night of mental illness. It was impossible to stop. It was worse than drugs. It might just be possible, if you were very careful, to look at the occasional book that could teach you something, such as encyclopedias or repair manuals. The most dangerous kind of book was fiction-- that's where all the brooding was sparked and encouraged. Damnit all! Addictive and risky products like that should only be available in state-regulated monopoly stores, rationed and sold only to those with a license, and mature in age.
Mikael Niemi (Popular Music from Vittula)
To engage the written word means to follow a line of thought, which requires considerable powers of classifying, inference-making and reasoning. It means to uncover lies, confusions, and overgeneralizations, to detect abuses of logic and common sense. It also means to weigh ideas, to compare and contrast assertions, to connect one generalization to another. To accomplish this, one must achieve a certain distance from the words themselves, which is, in fact, encouraged by the isolated and impersonal text. That is why a good reader does not cheer an apt sentence or pause to applaud even an inspired paragraph. Analytic thought is too busy for that, and too detached.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Linked together as a team with one goal, we soon realized we were only as strong as our weakest link. But did we condemn the weaker member? That wouldn’t serve any purpose. Instead, the stronger guys responded by carrying more weight than the weaker teammate. Encouragement was key in reaching the top of the stadium, standing as one. Sometimes one person on your team may not be as strong as another. Strengths usually differ. Likewise, in an encounter with another, someone may have a different set of beliefs or ideas.To accomplish any goal, embracing the strengths and weaknesses of each member and compensating where necessary are the best ways to make it to the top.
Jake Byrne (First and Goal: What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up)
School is different. Pupils are usually not encouraged to follow their own learning paths, question and discuss everything the teacher is teaching and move on to another topic if something does not promise to generate interesting insight. The teacher is there for the pupils to learn. But, as Wilhelm von Humboldt, founder of the Humboldt University of Berlin and brother to the great explorer Alexander von Humboldt, put it, the professor is not there for the student and the student not for the professor. Both are only there for the truth. And truth is always a public matter.
Sönke Ahrens (How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers)
I think the reason why people's relationships fail, really, is due to the fact that people are always putting their best feet forward all the time and not letting others actually "meet" them. The "meeting" part tends to happen later on and it shocks and disappoints people who have already bought into the best that was put forward. Why not meet people first as who you really are, then help one another, build up one another, encourage and sculpt each other... grow and become, together! Why can't people do that? Your best foot needs to be kept right beside you, right beside the other one.
C. JoyBell C.
God has a task for you—one He planned very long ago and suited for our present generation. Remember you are not responsible for completing anyone else's task, just yours. God desires for us to encourage one another in our tasks (see Heb. 10:24–25), but we are responsible only for completing our own.
Beth Moore (To Live Is Christ)
Julia’s study group at Yale, for instance, felt draining because the norms—the tussles over leadership, the pressure to constantly demonstrate expertise, the tendency to critique—had put her on guard. In contrast, the norms of her case competition team—enthusiasm for one another’s ideas, withholding criticisms, encouraging people to take a leadership role or hang back as they wanted—allowed everyone to be friendly and unconstrained. Coordination was easy.
Charles Duhigg (Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business)
We believe that cowardice is to blame for the world's injustices. We believe that peace is hard-won, that sometimes it is necessary to fight for peace. But more than that: We believe that justice is more important than peace. We believe in freedom from fear, in denying fear the power to influence our decisions. We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another. We believe in acknowledging fear and the extent to which it rules us. We believe in facing that fear no matter what the cost to our comfort, our happiness, or even to our sanity. We believe in shouting for those who can only whisper, in defending those who cannot defend themselves. We believe, not in just bold words, but in bold deeds to match them. We believe that pain and death are better than cowardice and inaction because we believe in action. We do not believe in living comfortable lives. We do not believe that silence is useful. We do not believe in good manners. We do not believe in empty heads, empty mouths, or empty hands. We do not believe that learning to master violence encourages unnecessary violence. We do not believe that we should be allowed to stand idly by. We do not believe that any other virtue is more important than bravery.
Veronica Roth
Good acts grow upon a person. I have sometimes thought that many men, judging from their utter lack of kindness and of a disposition to aid others, imagined that if they were to say or do a kind thing, it would destroy their capacity to perform a kind act or say a kind word in the future. If you have a granary full of grain, and you give away a sack or two, there remain that many less in your granary, but if you perform a kind act or add words of encouragement to one in distress, who is struggling along in the battle of life, the greater is your capacity to do this in the future. Don’t go through life with your lips sealed against words of kindness and encouragement, nor your hearts sealed against performing labors for another. Make a motto in life: always try and assist someone else to carry his burden.
Heber J. Grant
#TeamLightSkin vs. #TeamDarkSkin… REALLY, are you serious? To the black females that participate in this garbage, shame on you! Yes, I said it and I won’t take it back. After all that we’ve been through as a race regarding the light-skinned niggers versus the dark-skinned niggers, you’re actually keeping this garbage up? It’s time to wake up my Beautiful Black Queens! Educate yourself and know your history. This shouldn’t be something that we’re entertaining. WE are #TeamMelanin! Period. Enough of the foolishness! Respect yourself. Respect our race. We should be building one another up, not tearing each other down. Melanin is Exquisite Beauty in EVERY shade. Together, WE are strong, unstoppable, and powerful. Enough is enough! I encourage you to stop participating in things that keep us divided. Real Talk!
Stephanie Lahart
You can say whatever you like to me. I'm your oyster." Before she could restrain herself, an appalled giggle escaped her. "Please don't say that. You're no such thing." "You can choose another word, if you like." Mr. Severin extended his arm to escort her downstairs. "But the fact is, if you ever need anything- any favor, any service, large or small- I'm the one to send for. No questions asked. No obligations attached. Will you remember that?" Cassandra hesitated before taking his arm. "I'll remember." As they proceeded to the first floor, she asked in bewilderment, "But why would you make such a promise?" "Haven't you ever liked someone or something right away, without knowing exactly why, but feeling sure you would discover the reasons later?" She couldn't help smiling at that, thinking, Yes, as a matter of fact. Just now. But it would be too forward to say so, and besides, it would be wrong to encourage him. "I would be glad to call you a friend, Mr. Severin. But I'm afraid marriage will never be a possibility. We don't suit. I could please you only in the most superficial ways." "I would be happy with that," he said. "Superficial relationships are my favorite kind." A regretful smile lingered at her lips. "Mr. Severin, you couldn't give me the life I've always dreamed of." "I hope your dream comes true, my lady. But if it doesn't, I could offer you some very satisfying substitutes." "Not if you're heart is frozen," Cassandra said. Mr. Severin grinned at that, and made no reply. But as they neared the last step, she heard his reflective, almost puzzled murmur. "Actually... I think it just thawed a little.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
Admiral McRaven, the senior Navy SEAL who planned the Bin Laden mission, said this starts with the mundane: making your bed. “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.
Dan Crenshaw (Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage)
Choose an accountability partner carefully—ideally it will be someone who encourages you and isn’t critical or punitive if you don’t complete something. It can also help to have someone who wants to do the activities with you, like going for lunchtime walks with a coworker. Through accountability, you’ll encourage one another’s consistency.
Seth J. Gillihan (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple: 10 Strategies for Managing Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Panic, and Worry)
Those who think that modern times are wickeder than previous times are apt to identify the cause as the weakening of a sense of moral law, associated with the departure of religious traditions of morality as a social influence... Such views give comfort to apologists for religion, who fasten on the implication that to revive a culture of moral concern people must be encouraged back into churches. But this reprises the usual muddle that getting people to accept as true... such propositions as that at a certain historical point a virgin gave birth, that the laws of nature were arbitrarily suspended so that, for example, water turned into wine, that several corpses came to life (and so forth), will somehow give them a logical reason for living morally (according to the attached view of what is moral - e.g. not marrying if you can help it, not divorcing if you do, and so forth again). It is scarcely needful to repeat that the morality and the metaphysics here separately at stake do not justify or even need one another, and that the moral questions require to be grounded and justified on their own merits in application to what they concern, namely, the life of human beings in the social setting.
A.C. Grayling (What is Good?)
By the mid-eighteenth century, another new attitude was emerging, one which encouraged reflection on death as a spiritual exercise and a valid form of artistic expression. The experts on Victorian death, James Stevens Curl and Chris Brooks, have described this tendency as, respectively, ‘the cult of sepulchral melancholy’ and ‘graveyard gothic’.
Catharine Arnold (Necropolis: London and Its Dead)
I have already been young. I have lost a child. I have reared another one. I was in love. I married. I worked. I made friends. I cooked twelve thousand meals. Made eight thousand beds. Kissed a child awake and kissed a child asleep, encouraged and discouraged and recouraged, over and over. And now, am I supposed to start anew? I don’t think I’m interested.
Laura McBride (We Are Called to Rise)
As you can see,” Daisy said, “one glass is filled with soap water, one with clear, and one with blue laundry water. The other, of course, is empty. The glasses will predict what kind of man you will marry.” They watched as Evie felt carefully for one of the glasses. Dipping her finger into the soap water, Evie waited for her blindfold to be drawn off, and viewed the results with chagrin, while the other girls erupted with giggles. “Choosing the soap water means she will marry a poor man,” Daisy explained. Wiping off her fingers, Evie exclaimed good-naturedly, “I s-suppose the fact that I’m going to be m-married at all is a good thing.” The next girl in line waited with an expectant smile as she was blindfolded, and the glasses were repositioned. She felt for the vessels, nearly overturning one, and dipped her fingers into the blue water. Upon viewing her choice, she seemed quite pleased. “The blue water means she’s going to marry a noted author,” Daisy told Lillian. “You try next!” Lillian gaveher a speaking glance. “You don’t really believe in this, do you?” “Oh, don’t be cynical—have some fun!” Daisy took the blindfold and rose on her toes to tie it firmly around Lillian’s head. Bereft of sight, Lillian allowed herself to be guided to the table. She grinned at the encouraging cries of the young women around her. There was the sound of the glasses being moved in front of her, and she waited with her hands half raised in the air. “What happens if I pick the empty glass?” she asked. Evie’s voice came near her ear. “You die a sp-spinster!” she said, and everyone laughed. “No lifting the glasses to test their weight,” someone warned with a giggle. “You can’t avoid the empty glass, if it’s your fate!” “At the moment I want the empty glass,” Lillian replied, causing another round of laughter. Finding the smooth surface of a glass, she slid her fingers up the side and dipped them into the cool liquid. A general round of applause and cheering, and she asked, “Am I marrying an author, too?” “No, you chose the clear water,” Daisy said. “A rich, handsome husband is coming for you, dear!” “Oh, what a relief,” Lillian said flippantly, lowering the blindfold to peek over the edge. “Is it your turn now?” Her younger sister shook her head. “I was the first to try. I knocked over a glass twice in a row, and made a dreadful mess.” “What does that mean? That you won’t marry at all?” “It means that I’m clumsy,” Daisy replied cheerfully. “Other than that, who knows? Perhaps my fate has yet to be decided. The good news is that your husband seems to be on the way.” “If so, the bastard is late,” Lillian retorted, causing Daisy and Evie to laugh.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
We ought to encourage, build and strengthen one another.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Let's encourage self-love and self-care in one another. Let's help to make this world a better place.
Akiroq Brost
Remember that marriage is a humbling journey. When one sinner marries another sinner, there is always going to be trouble. And when these sinners have little "sinnerlings," there is even more trouble?
Jim Burns (Creating an Intimate Marriage: Rekindle Romance Through Affection, Warmth and Encouragement)
We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large puddles, along the one road leading from the camp. The accompanying guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their rifles. Anyone with very sore feet supported himself on his neighbor's arm. Hardly a word was spoken; the icy wind did not encourage talk. Hiding his mouth behind his upturned collar, the man marching next to me whispered suddenly: "If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don't know what is happening to us." That brought thoughts of my own wife to mind. And as we stumbled on for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew: each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife's image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise. A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way—an honorable way—in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, "The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.
Viktor E. Frankl
This was truly to be a radical milestone: the world’s first-ever marathon nude psychotherapy session for criminal psychopaths. Elliott’s raw, naked, LSD-fueled sessions lasted for epic eleven day stretches. The psychopaths spent every waking moment journeying to their darkest corners in an attempt to get better. There were no distractions—no television, no clothes, no clocks, no calendars, only a perpetual discussion (at least one hundred hours every week) of their feelings. When they got hungry, they sucked food through straws that protruded through the walls. As during Paul Bindrim’s own nude psychotherapy sessions, the patients were encouraged to go to their rawest emotional places by screaming and clawing at the walls and confessing fantasies of forbidden sexual longing for one another...
Jon Ronson (The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry)
What Caul liked most about Tom was his kindness. Kindness was not valued back in Grimsby, where the older boys were encouraged to torment the younger ones, who would grow up to torment another batch of youngsters in their turn. “Good practice for life,” Uncle said. “Hard knocks, that’s all the world’s about!” But maybe Uncle had never met anyone like Tom, who was kind to other people and seemed to expect nothing more than kindness in return.
Philip Reeve (Predator's Gold (Mortal Engines Quartet #2))
That one can act on the community, that is to say, on other people, and that one can feel “I am of use to someone.” Instead of feeling judged by another person as “good,” being able to feel, by way of one’s own subjective viewpoint, that “I can make contributions to other people.” It is at that point that, at last, we can have a true sense of our own worth. Everything we have been discussing about community feeling and encouragement connects here.
Ichiro Kishimi (The Courage to Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change Your Life, and Achieve Real Happiness)
Decades of countercultural rebellion have failed to change anything because the theory of society on which the countercultural idea rests is false. We do not live in the Matrix, nor do we live in the spectacle. The world we live in is in fact much more prosaic. It consists of billions of human beings, each pursuing more or less plausible conceptions of the good, trying to cooperate with one another, and doing so with varying degrees of success. There is no single, overarching system that integrates it all. The culture cannot be jammed because there is no such thing as "the culture" or "the system". There is only a hodge-podge of social institutions, most tentatively thrown together, which distribute the benefits and burdens of social cooperation in ways that sometimes we recognize to be just, but that are usually manifestly inequitable. In a world of this type, countercultural rebellion is not just unhelpful, it is positively counterproductive. Not only does it distract energy and effort away from the sort of initiatives that lead to concrete improvements in people's lives, but it encourages wholesale contempt for such incremental changes.
Joseph Heath; Andrew Potter (Nation of Rebels: Why Counterculture Became Consumer Culture)
The Greeks saw the advance of civilization bringing new ills. Their sour parable of technological progress was the familiar myth of Prometheus. Punished for affronting the gods by stealing fire for men’s use, Prometheus was chained to a rock so an eagle could feed on his liver, which grew back each night. According to Lucretius, necessity had led men to invent, and then inventions spawned frivolous needs that equipped and encouraged them to slaughter one another in war.
Daniel J. Boorstin (The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination)
DEDICATE YOURSELF this day to me, to my service, and to the service of humanity. Service is a wonderful healer, for as you forget yourself in service, you will find you will grow and expand in the most wonderful way. You will reach great heights and plumb great depths, and your love and understanding of life will begin to mean something to you. This day will afford you countless opportunities for stretching and growing. Accept each one with a heart filled with love and gratitude, and feel yourself growing in consciousness and in wisdom. Live it fully and abundantly with no restrictions, no limitations. Expect only the very best in everything and everyone, and see it come forth. Keep your heart open to one another. Look for the highest good in each other, and work from that higher level of consciousness. Encourage one another in every way possible; every soul needs encouragement. You will find as you help others, you help yourself to grow at the same time.
Eileen Caddy (Opening Doors Within)
Depressed people avoid people and church commitments, but they can also complain about abject isolation. The answer is to humbly accept your purpose. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25). Churches are not perfect. How could they be when we are the church? But the Spirit is with the gathering of his people. Church is where you will know more of God’s grace.
Edward T. Welch (Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness)
The encounter put me in the mood to shop...Babette and the kids followed me into the elevator, into the shops set along the tiers, through the emporiums and the department stores, puzzled but excited by my desire to buy. When I could not decide between two shirts, they encouraged me to buy both. When I said I was hungry they fed me pretzels, beer, souvlaki. The two girls scouted ahead, spotting things they thought I might want or need, running back to get me, to clutch my arms, to plead with me to follow. The...y were my guides to endless well-being...My family gloried in the event. I was one of them, shopping, at last. They gave me advice, badgered clerks on my behalf...We moved from store to store, rejecting not only items in certain departments, not only entire departments but whole stores, mammoth corporations that did not strike our fancy for one reason or another. There was always another store, three floors, eight floors...I shopped with reckless abandon. I shopped for immediate needs and distant contingencies. I shopped for its own sake, looking and touching, inspecting merchandise I had no intention of buying, then buying it...I began to grow in value and self-regard. I filled myself out, found new aspects of myself, located a person I'd forgotten existed. Brightness settled around me. I traded money for goods. The more money I spent, the less important it seemed. I was bigger than these sums. These sums poured off my skin like so much rain
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
In an age like our own, when the artist is an altogether exceptional person, he must be allowed a certain amount of irresponsibility, just as a pregnant woman is. Still, no one would say that a pregnant woman should be allowed to commit murder, nor would anyone make such a claim for the artist, however gifted. If Shakespeare returned to the earth to-morrow, and if it were found that his favourite recreation was raping little girls in railway carriages, we should not tell him to go ahead with it on the ground that he might write another King Lear. And, after all, the worst crimes are not always the punishable ones. By encouraging necrophilic reveries one probably does quite as much harm as by, say, picking pockets at the races. One ought to be able to hold in one’s head simultaneously the two facts that Dali is a good draughtsman and a disgusting human being. The one does not invalidate or, in a sense, affect the other. The first thing that we demand of a wall is that it shall stand up. If it stands up, it is a good wall, and the question of what purpose it serves is separable from that. And yet even the best wall in the world deserves to be pulled down if it surrounds a concentration camp. In the same way it should be possible to say, “This is a good book or a good picture, and it ought to be burned by the public hangman.” Unless one can say that, at least in imagination, one is shirking the implications of the fact that an artist is also a citizen and a human being.
George Orwell (Dickens, Dali and Others)
The Power of Words! Words are powerful. Words convey ideas, thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and emotions. Positive words can make a great impact in our lives. Choose to use words of encouragement and inspiration for one another. Give words of appreciation to those around you. You may not realise this but your one word of appreciation for someone may pass on the effect of positivity far and wide in the World. One kind word can change the lives of millions of people and make people love and create a better World.
Avijeet Das
Here, then, are some ways we can try to prevent mistakes. We can foster the ability to listen to each other and the freedom to speak our minds. We can create open and transparent environments instead of cultures of secrecy and concealment. And we can permit and encourage everyone, not just a powerful inner circle, to speak up when they see the potential for error. These measures might be a prescription for identifying and eliminating mistakes, but they sound like something else: a prescription for democracy. That's not an accident. Although we don't normally think of it in these terms, democratic governance represents another method—this time a political rather than an industrial or personal one—for accepting the existence of error and trying to curtail its more dangerous incarnations.
Kathryn Schulz (Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error)
But what if you can’t find a colleague with a compatible schedule? When Taylor went away to speak at a conference for a week, I needed to re-create the experience of making an effort pact with another person. Thankfully, I found Focusmate. With a vision to help people around the world stay focused, they facilitate effort pacts via a one-to-one video conferencing service. While Taylor was away, I signed up at Focusmate.com and was paired with a Czech medical school student named Martin. Because I knew he would be waiting for me to co-work at our scheduled time, I didn’t want to let him down. While Martin was hard at work memorizing human anatomy, I stayed focused on my writing. To discourage people from skipping their meeting times, participants are encouraged to leave a review of their focus mate.5 Effort pacts make us less likely to abandon the task at hand. Whether we make them with friends and colleagues, or via tools like Forest, SelfControl, Focusmate, or kSafe, effort pacts are a simple yet highly effective way to keep us from getting distracted.
Nir Eyal (Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life)
Many things in this period have been hard to bear, or hard to take seriously. My own profession went into a protracted swoon during the Reagan-Bush-Thatcher decade, and shows scant sign of recovering a critical faculty—or indeed any faculty whatever, unless it is one of induced enthusiasm for a plausible consensus President. (We shall see whether it counts as progress for the same parrots to learn a new word.) And my own cohort, the left, shared in the general dispiriting move towards apolitical, atonal postmodernism. Regarding something magnificent, like the long-overdue and still endangered South African revolution (a jagged fit in the supposedly smooth pattern of axiomatic progress), one could see that Ariadne’s thread had a robust reddish tinge, and that potential citizens had not all deconstructed themselves into Xhosa, Zulu, Cape Coloured or ‘Eurocentric’; had in other words resisted the sectarian lesson that the masters of apartheid tried to teach them. Elsewhere, though, it seemed all at once as if competitive solipsism was the signifier of the ‘radical’; a stress on the salience not even of the individual, but of the trait, and from that atomization into the lump of the category. Surely one thing to be learned from the lapsed totalitarian system was the unwholesome relationship between the cult of the masses and the adoration of the supreme personality. Yet introspective voyaging seemed to coexist with dull group-think wherever one peered about among the formerly ‘committed’. Traditionally then, or tediously as some will think, I saw no reason to discard the Orwellian standard in considering modern literature. While a sort of etiolation, tricked out as playfulness, had its way among the non-judgemental, much good work was still done by those who weighed words as if they meant what they said. Some authors, indeed, stood by their works as if they had composed them in solitude and out of conviction. Of these, an encouraging number spoke for the ironic against the literal mind; for the generously interpreted interest of all against the renewal of what Orwell termed the ‘smelly little orthodoxies’—tribe and Faith, monotheist and polytheist, being most conspicuous among these new/old disfigurements. In the course of making a film about the decaffeinated hedonism of modern Los Angeles, I visited the house where Thomas Mann, in another time of torment, wrote Dr Faustus. My German friends were filling the streets of Munich and Berlin to combat the recrudescence of the same old shit as I read: This old, folkish layer survives in us all, and to speak as I really think, I do. not consider religion the most adequate means of keeping it under lock and key. For that, literature alone avails, humanistic science, the ideal of the free and beautiful human being. [italics mine] The path to this concept of enlightenment is not to be found in the pursuit of self-pity, or of self-love. Of course to be merely a political animal is to miss Mann’s point; while, as ever, to be an apolitical animal is to leave fellow-citizens at the mercy of Ideolo’. For the sake of argument, then, one must never let a euphemism or a false consolation pass uncontested. The truth seldom lies, but when it does lie it lies somewhere in between.
Christopher Hitchens (For the Sake of Argument: Essays and Minority Reports)
Segregate people into boxes of ghettos, barrios, closets, and prisons, rank the boxes as being fundamentally separate and unequal, and keep the entire system intact by forbidding individuals to get to know one another as fully human beings. In this context, laws and religious teachings that detail who people could not marry are fundamental in upholding social inequality. They regulate love and sexuality by mystifying segregation and keeping people alienated from one another. The Black gender ideology described in this volume is but one example of many powerful ideologies that serve this purpose. These belief systems encourage individuals to grant humanity only to those in their own segregated boxes and to dehumanize, objectify, and, upon occasion, commodify and demonize everyone else. People who are alienated from one another and from their own honest bodies become easier to rule.
Patricia Hill Collins (Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism)
Now, with regard to religion, you say where you want to go is to a place where you can truly know God and love God. I am simply observing that your religions do not take you there. Your religions have made God the Great Mystery, and caused you not to love God, but to fear God. Religion has done little, as well, to cause you to change your behaviors. You are still killing each other, condemning each other, making each other “wrong.” And, in fact, it is your religions which have been encouraging you to do so. So with regard to religion, I merely observe that you say you want it to take you to one place, and it is taking you to another.
Neale Donald Walsch (The Complete Conversations with God)
Few black men can look at the data about black male lives and not see clearly the dangers they face and the extent to which those dangers are in place because of their blind allegiance to dominator culture. Black male-on-black male homicide would not exist if it were not encouraged and reinforced by notions of patriarchal manhood and white supremacy. For if it was just about manhood shootouts, black males would be killing white men at the same rates that they kill one another. They buy into the racist/sexist assumption that the black male is valueless and therefore when you take a black man 's life you are just taking nothing from nothing,
bell hooks (We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity)
To inhabit our citizenry fully, we have to not only understand this, but also grasp it. In the words of the playwright Lorraine Hansberry, “The problem is we have to find some way with these dialogues to show and to encourage the white liberal to stop being a liberal and become an American radical.” And, as my friend the critic and poet Fred Moten has written: “I believe in the world and want to be in it. I want to be in it all the way to the end of it because I believe in another world and I want to be in that.” This other world, that world, would presumably be one where black living matters. But we can’t get there without fully recognizing what is here.
Jesmyn Ward (The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race)
Since the idea of packaging is to protect food from bacteria,” Andrady observes, “wrapping leftovers in plastic that encourages microbes to eat it may not be the smartest thing to do.” But even if it worked, or even if humans were gone and never produced another nurdle, all the plastic already produced would remain— how long? “Egyptian pyramids have preserved corn, seeds, and even human parts such as hair because they were sealed away from sunlight with little oxygen or moisture,” says Andrady, a mild, precise man with a broad face and a clipped, persuasively reasonable voice. “Our waste dumps are somewhat like that. Plastic buried where there’s little water, sun, or oxygen will stay intact a long time. That is also true if it is sunk in the ocean, covered with sediment. At the bottom of the sea, there’s no oxygen, and it’s very cold.” He gives a clipped little laugh. “Of course,” he adds, “we don’t know much about microbiology at those depths. Possibly anaerobic organisms there can biodegrade it. It’s not inconceivable. But no one’s taken a submersible down to check. Based on our observations, it’s unlikely. So we expect much-slower degradation at the sea bottom. Many times longer. Even an order of magnitude longer.” An order of magnitude—that’s 10 times—longer than what? One thousand years? Ten thousand?
Alan Weisman (The World Without Us)
Don’t invest in other people’s opinion of you. You can change yourself a hundred different ways to get other people to approve of you and there will still be those who don’t. Your beauty will please some and threaten others. Your intelligence will impress one person and offend another. You will be too tall, too short, too smart, too attractive, too nice, not nice enough, too talented, too poor, and not educated enough for people who are determined to not like you. You must decide that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you. Their opinions don’t make your bed, pay your bills, or fill your stomach, so stop investing your focus and energy into them.
Emily Maroutian (In Case Nobody Told You: Passages of Wisdom and Encouragement)
the New Testament envisions followers of Jesus living alongside one another for the sake of one another. The Bible portrays the church as a community of Christians who care for one another, love one another, host one another, receive one another, honor one another, serve one another, instruct one another, forgive one another, motivate one another, build up one another, encourage one another, comfort one another, pray for one another, confess sin to one another, esteem one another, edify one another, teach one another, show kindness to one another, give to one another, rejoice with one another, weep with one another, hurt with one another, and restore one another.
David Platt (Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live.)
Benefits Now—Costs Later We have seen that predictable problems arise when people must make decisions that test their capacity for self-control. Many choices in life, such as whether to wear a blue shirt or a white one, lack important self-control elements. Self-control issues are most likely to arise when choices and their consequences are separated in time. At one extreme are what might be called investment goods, such as exercise, flossing, and dieting. For these goods the costs are borne immediately, but the benefits are delayed. For investment goods, most people err on the side of doing too little. Although there are some exercise nuts and flossing freaks, it seems safe to say that not many people are resolving on New Year’s Eve to floss less next year and to stop using the exercise bike so much. At the other extreme are what might be called sinful goods: smoking, alcohol, and jumbo chocolate doughnuts are in this category. We get the pleasure now and suffer the consequences later. Again we can use the New Year’s resolution test: how many people vow to smoke more cigarettes, drink more martinis, or have more chocolate donuts in the morning next year? Both investment goods and sinful goods are prime candidates for nudges. Most (nonanorexic) people do not need any special encouragement to eat another brownie, but they could use some help exercising more.
Richard H. Thaler (Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness)
These remarks should not be interpreted as simply an effort to move the gaze of African-American studies to a different site. I do not want to alter one hierarchy in order to institute another. It is true that I do not want to encourage those totalizing approaches to African-American scholarship which have no drive other than the exchange of dominations—dominant Eurocentric scholarship replaced by dominant Afrocentric scholarship. More interesting is what makes intellectual domination possible; how knowledge is transformed from invasion and conquest to revelation and choice; what ignites and informs the literary imagination, and what forces help establish the parameters of criticism.
Toni Morrison (Playing in the Dark : Whiteness and the Literary Imagination)
Their pursuits were by now so mysterious to one another that neither showed surprise at anything the other did or said, each, in fact, depending more and more heavily on the other for encouragement, an arrangement somewhat similar to that magic formula of modern marriage, whose parties are encouraged by disapprobation and disinterest respectively.
William Gaddis (The Recognitions)
He feels, as he increasingly does, that his life is something that has happened to him, rather than something he has had any role in creating. He has never been able to imagine what his life might be; even as a child, even as he dreamed of other places, of other lives, he wasn’t able to visualize what those other places and lives would be; he had believed everything he had been taught about who he was and what he would become. But his friends, Ana, Lucien, Harold and Julia: They had imagined his life for him. They had seen him as something different than he had ever seen himself as; they had allowed him to believe in possibilities that he would never have conceived. He saw his life as the axiom of equality, but they saw it as another riddle, one with no name—Jude = x—and they had filled in the x in ways Brother Luke, the counselors at the home, Dr. Traylor had never written for him or encouraged him to write for himself. He wishes he could believe their proofs the way they do; he wishes they had shown him how they had arrived at their solutions.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
if the fatal principle should come to be introduced, that, under pretense of organization, regulation, protection, or encouragement, the law may take from one party in order to give to another, help itself to the wealth acquired by all the classes that it may increase that of one class, whether that of the agriculturists, the manufacturers, the ship owners, or artists and comedians; then certainly, in this case, there is no class which may not try, and with reason, to place its hand upon the law, that would not demand with fury its right of election and eligibility, and that would overturn society rather than not obtain it. Even beggars and vagabonds will prove to you that they have an incontestable title to it.
Frédéric Bastiat (Bastiat Collection)
Children need practice dealing with other people. With people, practice never leads to perfect. But perfect isn’t the goal. Perfect is the goal only in a simulation. Children become fearful of not being in control in a domain where control is not the point. Beyond this, children use conversations with one another to learn how to have conversations with themselves. For children growing up, the capacity for self-reflection is the bedrock of development. I worry that the holding power of the screen does not encourage this. It jams that inner voice by offering continual interactivity or continual connection. Unlike time with a book, where one’s mind can wander and there is no constraint on time out for self-reflection, “apps” bring children back to the task at hand just when a child’s mind should be allowed to wander. So in addition to taking children away from conversation with other children, too much time with screens can take children away from themselves. It is one thing for adults to choose distraction over self-reflection. But children need to learn to hear their own voices.
John Brockman (What Should We Be Worried About?: Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night)
These are all issues in search of clarity. The good listener knows that, via conversation with another person, we’d ideally move from a confused, agitated state of mind to a calmer and more focused one. Together, through talking, we would work out what is really at stake. But, in reality, this tends not to happen because few of us are sufficiently aware of how to achieve this clarity from our conversation. There aren’t enough good listeners. People tend to assert rather than analyse. They restate in many different ways the fact that they are worried, excited, sad or hopeful, and their interlocutor listens but does not help them to discover more. Good listeners fight against this with a range of conversational gambits. They hover as the other speaks; they offer encouraging remarks; they make gentle positive gestures: a sigh of sympathy, a nod of encouragement, a strategic ‘hmm’ of interest. All the time, they are egging the other to go deeper into issues. They love saying: ‘Tell me more about…’; ‘I was fascinated when you said…’; ‘Why did that happen, do you think?’ or ‘How did you feel about that?
The School of Life (How to Think More Effectively: A guide to greater productivity, insight and creativity)
Traditionally, young Chinese couples moved in with the groom’s parents, but by the twenty-first century less than half of them stayed very long, and the economists Shang-Jin Wei and Xiaobo Zhang discovered that parents with sons were building ever larger and more expensive houses for their offspring, to attract better matches—a real estate phenomenon that became known as the “mother-in-law syndrome.” Newspapers encouraged it with headlines such as A HOUSE IS MAN’S DIGNITY. In some villages, a real estate arms race began, as families sought to outdo one another by building extra floors, which sat empty until they could afford to furnish them. Between 2003 and 2011, home prices in Beijing, Shanghai, and other big cities rose by up to 800 percent.
Evan Osnos (Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China)
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment. Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units. There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention. Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing. The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure. Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well. If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship. Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability. Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship. Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships. The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance. You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work. Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus? When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)
You haven’t seen Tralse’s website today.” She said it as a statement, not a question. Without saying another word—apparently there were none to explain the coming horror—Robin surfed over to Tralse’s website. Aside from having posted videos from the concert last night of their new song, Kyle had posted a new blog. “Ten reasons why Virgin Val sucks?” I screeched. A couple walking past the store looked up, startled, so I bit my tongue to keep from spouting profanities of my own. I clicked on the blog. There was no way to make myself not click on it. The Top Ten Reasons Why Virgin Val Sucks 10. She called me a one-hit-wonder. 9. She doesn’t appreciate the endearing nickname I gave her. 8. She makes me write stupid blogs about her at four in the morning. 7. She’s encouraging people not to have sex. 6. She blew me off when I asked her out. 5. She has a crush on a douche bag. 4. She won’t answer any of my calls. 3. She’s such a tease with her look-but-don’t-touch policy. 2. I played a whole effing concert just for her and she didn’t come even though she told me she would. (You’re such a liar!) And the #1 reason why Virgin Val sucks? I still want her anyway.
Kelly Oram (V is for Virgin (V is for Virgin #1))
Whether or not the historical Buddha actually suffered from the kind of primitive agonies Winnicott expounded upon, the meditations he taught in the aftermath of his awakening “hold” the mind just as Winnicott described a mother “holding” an infant. In making the observational posture of mindfulness central to his technique, the Buddha established another version of “an auxiliary ego-function” in the psyches of his followers, one that enabled them, to go back to his metaphor of pulling out an arrow, to tend to their own wounds with both their minds and their hearts. Far from eliminating the ego, as I naively believed I should when I first began to practice meditation, the Buddha encouraged a strengthening of the ego so that it could learn to hold primitive agonies without collapse.
Mark Epstein (The Trauma of Everyday Life)
Community as belonging . . . In many groups of people and clubs of all sorts (political, sports, leisure, liberal professions, etc.) people find a sense of security. They are happy to find others like themselves. They receive comfort one from another, and they encourage one another in their ways. But frequently there is a certain elitism. They are convinced that they are better than others. And, of course, not everyone can join the club; people have to qualify. Frequently these groups give security and a sense of belonging but they do not encourage personal growth. Belonging in such groups is not for becoming. You can often tell the people who belong to a particular club, group or community by what they wear, especially on feast days, or by their hairstyle, their jargon or accent or by badges and colours of some sort. Grouping seems to need symbols which express the fact that they are one tribe, one family, one group.
Jean Vanier (Community And Growth)
While he was pilloried for enforcing a severe regime of punishment to force them to look for jobs, he was trying behind the scenes to persuade the government to take another course entirely. He wanted tax breaks for those on welfare to encourage them to take work. This was his one big idea in the portfolio and he has cited it since as evidence that somewhere inside the Liberal Party the DLP was alive and well. But not very alive: the plan was killed off by Howard.
David Marr (Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott [Quarterly Essay 47])
As I walked, I was thinking about the Great and Secret Knowledge, which the Other says will grant us strange new powers. And I realised something. I realised that I no longer believed in it. Or perhaps that is not quite accurate. I thought it was possible that the Knowledge existed. Equally I thought that it was possible it did not. Either way it no longer mattered to me. I did not intend to waste my time looking for it any more. This realisation – the realisation of the Insignificance of the Knowledge – came to me in the form of a Revelation. What I mean by this is that I knew it to be true before I understood why or what steps had led me there. When I tried to retrace those steps my mind kept returning to the image of the One-Hundred-and-Ninety-Second Western Hall in the Moonlight, to its Beauty, to its deep sense of Calm, to the reverent looks on the Faces of the Statues as they turned (or seemed to turn) towards the Moon. I realised that the search for the Knowledge has encouraged us to think of the House as if it were a sort of riddle to be unravelled, a text to be interpreted, and that if ever we discover the Knowledge, then it will be as if the Value has been wrested from the House and all that remains will be mere scenery. The sight of the One-Hundred-and-Ninety-Second Western Hall in the Moonlight made me see how ridiculous that is. The House is valuable because it is the House. It is enough in and of Itself. It is not the means to an end. This thought led on to another. I realised that the Other’s description of the powers that the Knowledge will grant has always made me uneasy. For example: he says that we will have the power to control lesser minds. Well, to begin with there are no lesser minds; there are only him and me and we both have keen and lively intellects. But, supposing for a moment that a lesser mind existed, why would I want to control it?
Susanna Clarke (Piranesi)
I think you have a great women's ministry when the women of your community fall wildly in love with Jesus. Church ladies like this are the overflow of women who are empowered to lead, to challenge, to seek justice and love mercy, to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth like our church mothers and fathers of the past. You have a great women's ministry when there is room for everyone. You have a great women's ministry when you have detoxed from the world's views and unattainable standards for women and begun to celebrate the everyday women of valor, sitting next to you, and when you encourage, affirm, and welcome the diversity of women—their lives, their voices, their experiences—to the community. You have a great women's ministry when your women are ministering—to the world, to the church, to one another—pouring out freely the grace they have received, however God has gifted them, including cooking and crafts, strategy and leadership.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
What I want is for the life I lived to matter still. I have already been young. I have…a child. I have reared another one. I was in love. I married. I worked. I made friends. I cooked twelve thousand meals. Made eight thousand beds. Kissed a child awake and kissed a child asleep, encouraged and discouraged and recouraged, over and over. And now, am I supposed to start anew? I don’t think I’m interested… …I worked so hard to imagine a life I had never seen. And I made that life. I did it.
Laura McBride (We Are Called to Rise)
Education is at present concerned with outward efficiency, and it utterly disregards, or deliberately perverts, the inward nature of man; it develops only one part of him and leaves the rest to drag along as best it can. Our inner confusion, antagonism and fear ever overcome the outer structure of society, however nobly conceived and cunningly built. When there is not the right kind of education we destroy one another, and physical security for every individual is denied. To educate the student rightly is to help him to understand the total process of himself; for it is only when there is integration of the mind and heart in everyday action that there can be intelligence and inward transformation. While offering information and technical training, education should above all encourage an integrated outlook on life; it should help the student to recognize and break down in himself all social distinctions and prejudices, and discourage the acquisitive pursuit of power and domination. It should encourage the right kind of self-observation and the experiencing of life as a whole, which is not to give significance to the part, to the "me" and the "mine", but to help the mind to go above and beyond itself to discover the real. Freedom comes into being only through self-knowledge in one's daily occupations, that is, in one's relationship with people, with things, with ideas and with nature. If the educator is helping the student to be integrated, there can be no fanatical or unreasonable emphasis on any particular phase of life. It is the understanding of the total process of existence that brings integration. When there is self-knowledge, the power of creating illusions ceases, and only then is it possible for reality or God to be. Human beings must be integrated if they are to come out of any crisis, and specially the present world crisis, without being broken; therefore, to parents and teachers who are really interested in education, the main problem is how to develop an integrated individual. To do this, the educator himself must obviously be integrated; so the right kind of education is of the highest importance, not only for the young, but also for the older generation if they are willing to learn and are not too set in their ways. What we are in ourselves is much more important than the traditional question of what to teach the child, and if we love our children we will see to it that they have the right kind of educators.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (Education and the Significance of Life)
We listened, as all boys in their better moods will listen (ay, and men too for the matter of that), to a man whom we felt to be, with all his heart and soul and strength, striving against whatever was mean and unmanly and unrighteous in our little world. It was not the cold, clear voice of one giving advice and warning from serene heights to those who were struggling and sinning below, but the warm, living voice of one who was fighting for us and by our sides, and calling on us to help him and ourselves and one another.
Thomas Hughes (Tom Brown's Schooldays)
Just as we need battle support from our brothers and sisters in the Lord in spiritual warfare, they need it from us, so we should pray for them and encourage them often. Let us inquire of them frequently, asking what battles they are facing so that we can come alongside and aid them. In this war, we are our brother’s keeper. We are to have great care and concern for one another. As Roman soldiers would often stand shoulder-to-shoulder and shield-to-shield for greater protection, so also we must take up God’s armor and stand strong as one!
Brian S. Borgman (Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective)
The Biology of Tribalism concerns pushes and pulls between populations, which primarily occur due to tradeoffs between inbreeding and outbreeding. Ethnocentrism and other tribalistic personality facets have evolved to influence mate choice and encourage “optimal outbreeding.” The book will explore these and other tribalistic political phenomena that impact the evolution of populations, including gender inequality, warfare, and genocide. The Biology of Family Conflict (Parent-Offspring Conflict) is the field of evolutionary theory that explains why the interests of the most closely related individuals do not always align, and thus why different family disciplinary strategies exist. The two opposed disciplinary models are based on egalitarian and hierarchical moralities. These conflicts are linked to the variation in people's tolerance of inequality. The Biology of Altruism and Self-Interest is the area of evolutionary theory that describes how and why people cooperate with and betray one another; this field sheds light on why some people perceive human nature so differently than others.
Avi Tuschman (Our Political Nature: The Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us)
At the same time that middle- and upper-middle-class mothers were urged to pipe Mozart into their wombs when they're pregnant so their kids would come out perfectly tuned, the government told poor mothers to get the hell out of the house and get to work--no more children's aid for them. Mothers like us--with health care, laptops, and Cuisinarts--are supposed to replicate the immaculate bedrooms we see in Pottery Barn Kids catalogs, with their designer sheets and quilts, one toy and one stuffed animal atop a gleaming white dresser, and a white rug on the floor that has never been exposed to the shavings from hamster cages, Magic Markers accidentally dropped with their caps off, or Welche's grape juice.... we've been encouraged to turn our backs on other mothers who pick their kids' clothes out of other people's trash and sometimes can't buy a can of beans to feed them. How has it come to seem perfectly reasonable--even justified-- that one class of mother is suppoed to sew her baby's diapers out of Egyptian cotton from that portion of the Nile blessed by the god Osiris while another class of mother can't afford a single baby aspirin?
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
As a preschool and kindergarten teacher, I observed a dramatic difference in the quality of play of children who did not watch television. Their inside play was much more imaginative and more likely to have a story line than that of other children, who were more likely to run around and attempt to catch one another. When a child arrived at preschool wearing a Batman T-shirt, the play immediately turned into chasing one another. I then asked the parents not to send their children in clothing with insignias so that imaginative play could find a little space in which to grow and flower.
Rahima Baldwin Dancy (You Are Your Child's First Teacher, Third Edition: Encouraging Your Child's Natural Development from Birth to Age Six)
I’ve always been fascinated by science—anatomy, quantum physics, space and time theory. I don’t understand these things, but the mystery is a part of what attracts me to them. That the world I live in now is complex beyond my understanding only encourages me to believe that there are wild possibilities in creation beyond even the things of this dimension of time and space. If this universe has alternate dimensions outside of our understanding, isn’t it possible that we might exist in a life beyond this one, in another kind of dimension that is fuller and more alive than the one we know?
Bethany Pierce (Amy Inspired)
Have you ever seen fishermen when a storm is brewing on a great river? I have seen them many a time. In the face of a storm one group of fishermen will muster all their forces, encourage their fellows and boldly put out to meet the storm: 'Cheer up, lads, hold tight to the tiller, cut the waves, we'll pull her through!' But there is another type of fishermen - those who, on sensing a storm, lose heart, begin to snivel and demoralise their own ranks: 'What a misfortune, a storm is brewing; lie down, boys, in the bottom of the boat, shut your eyes; let's hope she'll make the shore somehow.
Robert Harris (Archangel)
Though all the Protestant denominations have historically condemned the veneration of holy objects (relics) and their use in healing, the Catholic church - until recently - preferred to depend entirely upon the magical qualities attributed to the possessions or actual physical parts of various saints and biblical characters for healing. The Vatican not only permitted but encouraged this practice, which entered history in the third century. Catholic churches and private collections still overflow with hundreds of thousands of items. Included are pieces of the True Cross (enough to build a few log cabins), bones of the children slain by King Herod, the toenails and bones of St. Peter, the bones of the Three Wise Kings and of St. Stephen (as well as his complete corpse, including another complete skeleton!), jars of the Virgin Mary’s milk, the bones and several entire heads and pieces thereof that were allegedly once atop John the Baptist, 16 foreskins of Christ, Mary Magdalene’s entire skeleton (with two right feet), scraps of bread and fish left over from feeding the 5,000, a crust of bread from the Last Supper, and a hair from Christ’s beard - not to mention a few shrouds, including the one at Turin.
James Randi (The Faith Healers)
Jackson himself described how the treaties were obtained: “. . . we addressed ourselves feelingly to the predominant and governing passion of all Indian tribes, i.e., their avarice or fear.” He encouraged white squatters to move into Indian lands, then told the Indians the government could not remove the whites and so they had better cede the lands or be wiped out. He also, Rogin says, “practiced extensive bribery.” These treaties, these land grabs, laid the basis for the cotton kingdom, the slave plantations. Every time a treaty was signed, pushing the Creeks from one area to the next, promising them security there, whites would move into the new area and the Creeks would feel compelled to sign another treaty, giving up more land in return for security elsewhere. Jackson’s work had brought the white settlements to the border of Florida, owned by Spain. Here were the villages of the Seminole Indians, joined by some Red Stick refugees, and encouraged by British agents in their resistance to the Americans. Settlers moved into Indian lands. Indians attacked. Atrocities took place on both sides. When certain villages refused to surrender people accused of murdering whites, Jackson ordered the villages destroyed.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Le Corbusier’s unrendered concrete towers, after 27 years of Punjab sun and monsoon and sub-Himalayan winter, looked stained and diseased, and showed now as quite plain structures, with an applied flashiness: megalomaniac architecture: people reduced to units, individuality reserved only to the architect, imposing his ideas of colour in an inflated Miróesque mural on one building, and imposing an iconography of his own with a giant hand set in a vast flat area of concrete paving, which would have been unbearable in winter and summer and the monsoon. India had encouraged yet another outsider to build a monument to himself.
V.S. Naipaul (India: A Million Mutinies Now (Vintage International))
Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – "It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?" Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions. Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade – that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs – I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen. But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, "Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen." It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.
Frédéric Bastiat (That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen)
Parent and Teacher Actions: 1. Ask children what their role models would do. Children feel free to take initiative when they look at problems through the eyes of originals. Ask children what they would like to improve in their family or school. Then have them identify a real person or fictional character they admire for being unusually creative and inventive. What would that person do in this situation? 2. Link good behaviors to moral character. Many parents and teachers praise helpful actions, but children are more generous when they’re commended for being helpful people—it becomes part of their identity. If you see a child do something good, try saying, “You’re a good person because you ___.” Children are also more ethical when they’re asked to be moral people—they want to earn the identity. If you want a child to share a toy, instead of asking, “Will you share?” ask, “Will you be a sharer?” 3. Explain how bad behaviors have consequences for others. When children misbehave, help them see how their actions hurt other people. “How do you think this made her feel?” As they consider the negative impact on others, children begin to feel empathy and guilt, which strengthens their motivation to right the wrong—and to avoid the action in the future. 4. Emphasize values over rules. Rules set limits that teach children to adopt a fixed view of the world. Values encourage children to internalize principles for themselves. When you talk about standards, like the parents of the Holocaust rescuers, describe why certain ideals matter to you and ask children why they’re important. 5. Create novel niches for children to pursue. Just as laterborns sought out more original niches when conventional ones were closed to them, there are ways to help children carve out niches. One of my favorite techniques is the Jigsaw Classroom: bring students together for a group project, and assign each of them a unique part. For example, when writing a book report on Eleanor Roosevelt’s life, one student worked on her childhood, another on her teenage years, and a third on her role in the women’s movement. Research shows that this reduces prejudice—children learn to value each other’s distinctive strengths. It can also give them the space to consider original ideas instead of falling victim to groupthink. To further enhance the opportunity for novel thinking, ask children to consider a different frame of reference. How would Roosevelt’s childhood have been different if she grew up in China? What battles would she have chosen to fight there?
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World)
We therapists hear many stories of how people have been victimized, how they've had a succession of bad breaks and are product of 'dysfunctional' homes. On good days I'm sympathetic and try to hear them out, to encourage catharsis for their pain, then gradually lead them into problem-solving mode. But some days I mutter to myself, that if another patient comes in the door and says one word about being the product of a dysfunctional family, I'm going to stand up and do something dysfunctional to them. ALL families are dysfunctional at times. And the biography is filled with stories of people who overcome the most miserable environments.
Alan Loy McGinnis (Balanced Life)
It was common among Muslim scholars to discuss the delicate balance between hope and fear. If one is overwhelmed with fear, he enters a psychological state of terror that leads to despair (ya’s)— that is, despair of God’s mercy. In the past, this religious illness was common, but it is less so today because, ironically, people are not as religious as they used to be. However, some of this is still found among certain strains of evangelical Christianity that emphasize Hellfire and eternal damnation. One sect believes that only 144,000 people will be saved based on its interpretation of a passage in the Book of Revelations. Nonetheless, an overabundance of hope is a disease that leads to complacency and dampens the aspiration to do good since salvation is something guaranteed (in one’s mind, that is). According to some Christian sects that believe in unconditional salvation, one can do whatever one wills (although he or she is encouraged to do good and avoid evil) and still be saved from Hell and gain entrance to Paradise. This is based on the belief that once one accepts Jesus a personal savior, there is nothing to fear about the Hereafter. Such religiosity can sow corruption because human beings simply cannot handle being assured of Paradise without deeds that warrant salvation. Too many will serve their passions like slaves and still consider themselves saved. In Islam, faith must be coupled with good works for one’s religion to be complete. This does not contradict the sound Islamic doctrine that “God’s grace alone saves us.” There is yet another kind of hope called umniyyah, which is blameworthy in Islam. Essentially, it is having hope but neglecting the means to achieve what one hopes for, which is often referred to as an “empty wish.” One hopes to become healthier, for example, but remains sedentary and is altogether careless about diet. To hope for the Hereafter but do nothing for it in terms of conduct and morality is also false hope.
Hamza Yusuf (Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart)
Hermione," Harry said seriously, as he started to dig down into the red-velvet pouch again, "don't punish yourself when a bright idea doesn't work out. You've got to go through a lot of flawed ideas to find one that might work. And if you send your brain negative feedback by frowning when you think of a flawed idea, instead of realizing that idea-suggesting is good behavior by your brain to be encouraged, pretty soon you won't think of any ideas at all." Harry put down two heart-shaped chocolates beside the book. "Here, have another chocolate. Besides the one from earlier, I mean. This one is to reinforce your brain for generating a good candidate strategy.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
People often see themselves in terms of whichever one of their allegiances is most under attack. And sometimes, when a person doesn’t have the strength to defend that allegiance, he hides it. Then it remains buried deep down in the dark, awaiting its revenge. But whether he accepts or conceals it, proclaims it discreetly or flaunts it, it is with that allegiance that the person concerned identifies. And then, whether it relates to color, religion, language or class, it invades the person’s whole identity. Other people who share the same allegiance sympathize; they all gather together, join forces, encourage one another, challenge “the other side.” For them, “asserting their identity” inevitably becomes an act of courage, of liberation. In the midst of any community that has been wounded agitators naturally arise… The scene is now set and the war can begin. Whatever happens “the others” will have deserved it. […] What we conveniently call “murderous folly” is the propensity of our fellow-creatures to turn into butchers when they suspect that their “tribe” is being threatened. The emotions of fear or insecurity don’t always obey rational considerations. They may be exaggerated or even paranoid; but once a whole population is afraid, we are dealing with the reality of the fear rather than the reality of the threat.
Amin Maalouf
if relativism about ethics and morality were true, then, at the end of many discussions, we. would each have to end up by saying, “From where I stand, I am right. From where you stand, you are right.” And there would be nothing further to say. From our different perspectives, we. would be living effectively in different worlds. And without a shared world, what is there to discuss? People often recommend relativism because they think it will lead to tolerance. But if we cannot learn from one another what it is right to think and feel and do, then conversation between us will be pointless. Relativism of that sort isn't a way to encourage conversation; it's just a reason to fall silent.
Kwame Anthony Appiah (Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers)
The Never Unfriended Promise I promise I will never unfriend you. Not with the swipe of my finger, not with the roll of my eyes, not with a mean word said behind your back, or a circle too small to pull up one more chair. I choose to like you. I choose to choose you. To include you. To invite you. Even on the days we hit road bumps. I don’t want another friendship break up. I want a friendship that won’t give up. So, I give you my too-loud laughter and my awkward tears. I give you my sofa for the days you just can’t even. And the nights you need a safe place to feel heard without saying a word. Let there be coffee and long conversations. Let there be messy, ordinary Tuesdays where neither of us is embarrassed by our dust bunnies. I won't try to force our friendship into jeans that won't fit. I won't treat you like a quick fix. I will like you just the way you are. Because I believe in guilt-free friendship. And on the days we’re tangled up in our own insecurities let’s agree to give each other the gift of the benefit of the doubt. Wrapped up with the giant bow of believing the best about each other, even when we don’t feel like it. I'm sure I won't always get it right. But I'll keep showing up. With encouragement instead of competition. With Kleenex, big news or sad news on the bad hair days and the Mondays and all the in between days with their ordinary news too. Friendship on purpose. Here's to me and you.
Lisa-Jo Baker (Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships)
The responsibility/fault fallacy allows people to pass off the responsibility for solving their problems to others. This ability to alleviate responsibility through blame gives people a temporary high and a feeling of moral righteousness. Unfortunately, one side effect of the Internet and social media is that it’s become easier than ever to push responsibility—for even the tiniest of infractions—onto some other group or person. In fact, this kind of public blame/shame game has become popular; in certain crowds it’s even seen as “cool.” The public sharing of “injustices” garners far more attention and emotional outpouring than most other events on social media, rewarding people who are able to perpetually feel victimized with ever-growing amounts of attention and sympathy. “Victimhood chic” is in style on both the right and the left today, among both the rich and the poor. In fact, this may be the first time in human history that every single demographic group has felt unfairly victimized simultaneously. And they’re all riding the highs of the moral indignation that comes along with it. Right now, anyone who is offended about anything—whether it’s the fact that a book about racism was assigned in a university class, or that Christmas trees were banned at the local mall, or the fact that taxes were raised half a percent on investment funds—feels as though they’re being oppressed in some way and therefore deserve to be outraged and to have a certain amount of attention. The current media environment both encourages and perpetuates these reactions because, after all, it’s good for business. The writer and media commentator Ryan Holiday refers to this as “outrage porn”: rather than report on real stories and real issues, the media find it much easier (and more profitable) to find something mildly offensive, broadcast it to a wide audience, generate outrage, and then broadcast that outrage back across the population in a way that outrages yet another part of the population. This triggers a kind of echo of bullshit pinging back and forth between two imaginary sides, meanwhile distracting everyone from real societal problems. It’s no wonder we’re more politically polarized than ever before. The biggest problem with victimhood chic is that it sucks attention away from actual victims. It’s like the boy who cried wolf. The more people there are who proclaim themselves victims over tiny infractions, the harder it becomes to see who the real victims actually are. People get addicted to feeling offended all the time because it gives them a high; being self-righteous and morally superior feels good. As political cartoonist Tim Kreider put it in a New York Times op-ed: “Outrage is like a lot of other things that feel good but over time devour us from the inside out. And it’s even more insidious than most vices because we don’t even consciously acknowledge that it’s a pleasure.” But
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
SCRIPTURE READING: EPHESIANS 4:1–15 KEY VERSES: EPHESIANS 4:14–15 That [you] . . . speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ. The pattern Jesus gave us to live by is one of love. Paul wrote, “I . . . implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love” (Eph. 4:1–2 NASB). As a believer, live each day in such a way that your life honors the Lord, who saved you through His mercy and grace. This means to live in a “manner worthy” of your calling. How did Jesus call you? Did He come to you with a list of demands, requiring you to fulfill each one before He would consider caring for you? No. He came to you in love. Redemptive love brought Him to earth so that you might receive eternal salvation. Love was all the motivation He needed to be crucified at Calvary. His love watches over you, protects you, plans your future, and encourages you not to give up in times of sorrow and discouragement. You will spend eternity in the radiant goodness and greatness of His blessings, all because He chooses to love you. Love that is from God is humble and gentle. It loves with the surety of Christ. Someone today is hurting because he thinks God could not possibly love him. You know the truth about His love; will you tell him? Thank You, Lord, that I know the truth about Your love. Help me to share it with others. (SEEKING HIS FACE)
Charles F. Stanley (I Lift Up My Soul: Devotions to Start Your Day with God)
And when spring comes to the City people notice one another in the road; notice the strangers with whom they share aisles and tables and the space where intimate garments are laundered. going in and out, in and out the same door, they handle the handle; on trolleys and park benches they settle thighs on a seat in which hundreds have done it too. Copper coins dropped in the palm have been swallowed by children and tested by gypsies, but it’s still money and people smile at that. It’s the time of year when the City urges contradiction most, encouraging you to buy street food when you have no appetite at all; giving you a taste for a single room occupied by you alone as well as a craving to share it with someone you passed in the street. Really there is no contradiction—rather it’s a condition; the range of what an artful City can do. What can beat bricks warming up to the sun? The return of awnings. The removal of blankets from horses’ backs. Tar softens under the heel and the darkness under bridges changes from gloom to cooling shade. After a light rain, when the leaves have come, tree limbs are like wet fingers playing in woolly green hair. Motor cars become black jet boxes gliding behind hoodlights weakened by mist. On sidewalks turned to satin figures move shoulder first, the crowns of their heads angled shields against the light buckshot that the raindrops are. The faces of children glimpsed at windows appear to be crying, but it is the glass pane dripping that makes it seem so.
Toni Morrison (Jazz)
Can sin unsave the Christian?   One item that I feel I must make clear before answering this question is to make plain that neither I, nor anyone else can tell a man’s heart relationship with God. There is an intrinsic problem in answering this question, as the only basis the Bible gives us for judging one another is the fruit which we do or do not bear. The New Testament writers do assume, for the most part, that the life of faith does bear fruit, but the writers also seem to give much encouragement for saints to stay holy in their calling, and there are not a few instances where saints are scolded for allowing themselves to be pulled back into their former lives. Only God, who sees the hearts and motives of man can judge man; and that is as it should be. 
Patrick Davis (Because You Asked)
We have weathered deep depression, hurtful arguments, separation, estrangement, anger, bewilderment, deep disappointment and suspicion of words and deeds—all in connection with those nearest to us. We have overcome our own and our spouses’ thoughts of suicide, as well as an actual suicide attempt by one spouse and another by a surviving child. We have had to deal with a sibling turning to drugs in hopes of relieving the hurt. The repercussions of our children’s deaths will echo forever in our lives and those of our close family members. The bitterness and the fury will diminish, but they will never completely disappear. But the one relationship that has never faltered has been that which we had and continue to have with our deceased children. That closeness, which we probably took for granted when our children were alive, has grown to the point that they are forever with us and within us. Our dead children have become omnipresent in our lives. They are the one sure thing. Everything else surrounding us can ebb and flow, change and perhaps go, but our dead children are as much a part of us as they were when we carried them through nine months of pregnancy. We cannot, and will not, ever think of them as no longer existing. We cannot say for certain that they are watching us from heaven, but the thought that they may be doing just that comforts us and encourages us to go on with our lives. At times, it even makes us feel a certain comedic awkwardness. No matter what is happening, our child is in the room. Phyllis: “My son and his wife came
Ellen Mitchell (Beyond Tears: Living After Losing a Child)
Pay attention to everything the dying person says. You might want to keep pens and a spiral notebook beside the bed so that anyone can jot down notes about gestures, conversations, or anything out of the ordinary said by the dying person. Talk with one another about these comments and gestures. • Remember that there may be important messages in any communication, however vague or garbled. Not every statement made by a dying person has significance, but heed them all so as not to miss the ones that do. • Watch for key signs: a glassy-eyed look; the appearance of staring through you; distractedness or secretiveness; seemingly inappropriate smiles or gestures, such as pointing, reaching toward someone or something unseen, or waving when no one is there; efforts to pick at the covers or get out of bed for no apparent reason; agitation or distress at your inability to comprehend something the dying person has tried to say. • Respond to anything you don’t understand with gentle inquiries. “Can you tell me what’s happening?” is sometimes a helpful way to initiate this kind of conversation. You might also try saying, “You seem different today. Can you tell me why?” • Pose questions in open-ended, encouraging terms. For example, if a dying person whose mother is long dead says, “My mother’s waiting for me,” turn that comment into a question: “Mother’s waiting for you?” or “I’m so glad she’s close to you. Can you tell me about it?” • Accept and validate what the dying person tells you. If he says, “I see a beautiful place!” say, “That’s wonderful! Can you tell me more about it?” or “I’m so pleased. I can see that it makes you happy,” or “I’m so glad you’re telling me this. I really want to understand what’s happening to you. Can you tell me more?” • Don’t argue or challenge. By saying something like “You couldn’t possibly have seen Mother, she’s been dead for ten years,” you could increase the dying person’s frustration and isolation, and run the risk of putting an end to further attempts at communicating. • Remember that a dying person may employ images from life experiences like work or hobbies. A pilot may talk about getting ready to go for a flight; carry the metaphor forward: “Do you know when it leaves?” or “Is there anyone on the plane you know?” or “Is there anything I can do to help you get ready for takeoff?” • Be honest about having trouble understanding. One way is to say, “I think you’re trying to tell me something important and I’m trying very hard, but I’m just not getting it. I’ll keep on trying. Please don’t give up on me.” • Don’t push. Let the dying control the breadth and depth of the conversation—they may not be able to put their experiences into words; insisting on more talk may frustrate or overwhelm them. • Avoid instilling a sense of failure in the dying person. If the information is garbled or the delivery impossibly vague, show that you appreciate the effort by saying, “I can see that this is hard for you; I appreciate your trying to share it with me,” or “I can see you’re getting tired/angry/frustrated. Would it be easier if we talked about this later?” or “Don’t worry. We’ll keep trying and maybe it will come.” • If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything. Sometimes the best response is simply to touch the dying person’s hand, or smile and stroke his or her forehead. Touching gives the very important message “I’m with you.” Or you could say, “That’s interesting, let me think about it.” • Remember that sometimes the one dying picks an unlikely confidant. Dying people often try to communicate important information to someone who makes them feel safe—who won’t get upset or be taken aback by such confidences. If you’re an outsider chosen for this role, share the information as gently and completely as possible with the appropriate family members or friends. They may be more familiar with innuendos in a message because they know the person well.
Maggie Callanan (Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Co)
I notice that you’re wearing your wedding ring,” he said after I sat down. “Do you think you might be in denial?” I guess it was a fair question, but it caught me off guard. “I know Chris is gone,” I said. “But I do feel as if I’m still married to him.” I looked at my ring. It didn’t mean I was in denial; it meant I loved Chris. Yet the question bothered me. My husband is dead, and of course I acknowledge it. But that’s different than shouting about it. The ring is a symbol of our love as well as our marriage. How should I treat that symbol? Do I have a problem? I left the office in a quandary. The Bible says “until death do you part.” I know that means that marriage lasts only until one death, and that it’s okay for me to marry again. I know good friends wo are widows, and I’ve encouraged them to marry, feeling it was right for them. One of my dearest friends decided to do just that this past summer. It hadn’t been that long since her husband had died, but things had just come together, and her new love deserved to be acknowledged. It was another case, to me, of finding beauty through the ashes. “I kept asking God, why now? Why so soon?” she confessed. “The answer that came back was, timing doesn’t matter. Accept the gift.” She’s right. People may judge her, but she had the courage and strength to admit that she had something beautiful, and that the right thing to do was act on it. I know with certainty that not only was the man right but the timing was as well. They have strengthened each other, and I’m sure will have a life together many can only dream of.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
I’ve kept a tally of the alcohol Ellie’s consumed—three martinis at the dinner reception and four whiskeys neat at the pub. She downs a fifth one like water. “You’re a Viking!” Henry encourages her. “Vikings!!!” Ellie shouts. When the Prince calls the bartender for another, I push my way through the crowd to Henry. “She’s had enough,” I tell him quietly. “She’s fine.” He waves his hand at the air. “She’s just a girl,” I insist. Ellie takes exception, poking my arm with her finger and slurring. “Hey! I resent that. I’m a matter adult. Mattur. Ma-ture.” She tilts her head, gasping. “Oh my God, I just realized that except for one letter, mature and manure are the same word! That’s so weird.” I turn back to Prince Henry. “Like I said . . . more than enough.” He leans across the bar towards Ellie, holding up two fingers. “Ellie, how many fingers do you see?” Ellie squints and strains, until finally she grabs Henry’s hand and holds it still. “Four.” “Brilliant answer!” “Was I right?” Ellie asks hopefully. “No—if you’d gotten it right, I’d be really concerned.” Then he bangs the bar with his palm. “Another round!” That’s when Ellie slides clear off her stool. I catch her before she hits the floor, but just barely. And then I glare at Henry. “Mmm . . . perhaps we have reached our quota for the evening.” He puts his hand on Ellie’s arm, lifting his chin a little as he says, “It’s always important to be able to actually walk out of the pub on our own two feet. Dignity and all that.” Ellie’s head lolls on her neck until she rests it on my shoulder, her puffs of breath brushing my throat. “M’kay
Emma Chase (Royally Endowed (Royally, #3))
The great minds, which from time to time have existed in this world, were like doors thrown wide to understanding. I don't mean just their brilliance or philosophy or even psychology. I mean that the spoken words that have endured are those uttered by men who understood with their hearts. No one on earth understands everything; that all-comprehensive function belongs to God alone. But we all try to understand a little. Most of us realize that too late. We look back and think: If only I'd tried to understand. Many failures in human relationships derive from this common failure. Watching the birds flock to discuss their travels among the brilliant leaves, listening to the slow turning of the earth upon her axis, meditating on Nature herself, never uncertain no matter how uncertain her manifestations may be, I think of the instinct that sends the birds from one locality to another, of the lengthening shadows as we face toward autumn, and of the marvelous system that encourages the leaf to fall and nurture the soil. In the single flame of October it begins the lullaby that will put the roots of grass and flowers to sleep. This system, in the four seasons of my little world, will cover the ground with silent snow, and at a later date will shout that spring is coming and awaken sleepers to new life. The sun in his glory, the moon in her phases, the stars in their courses, all these are part of the system; and Nature, turning the wheel of the seasons, understands what she must accomplish. Each in our own way, I suppose, we try to understand what we must accomplish. Perhaps the most important thing of all is the attempt to understand others.
Faith Baldwin (Evening Star)
Dear Sawyer and Quin, If you ever read this and I'm gone I want you to know something that has been weighing on me. I watch you two play and it can be so sad sometimes. You two have been best friends since Sawyer's birth. Always inseparable. It's been adorable , but comes with its challenges. I'm worried when I watch you boys. Quinton, you are always driven by your ego. You're strong and talented, but much too determined to beat down everyone in your efforts to be the best. You push yourself to win a competition, then shove it in someone's face. I’ve rarely seen you compliment others, but you always give yourself a pat on the back. You don't play anything for the love of it, you play to win and normally do. I've seen you tear down your brother so many times just to feel good about yourself. You don't have to do that, dear. You don't have to spend your life trying to prove that you're amazing. One day you'll fail and be alone because you've climbed to the top of a pyramid with only enough room for yourself. Don't let it get to that point and if you do, learn humility from your brother. He could do without so much of it. Sawyer, just because you're most often the underdog and the peaceful introspective kid, don't think I'm letting you off the hook. Your humility has become your worst enemy. It's so intense that I wonder if it will be your vice one day, instead of your greatest virtue. It's one thing to believe you are below all men, even when you're not, but it's another thing to be crippled by fear and to no longer try. Sometimes , dear, I think you fear being good at something because you've tasted the bitterness of being the one who comes in last and you don't want to make others feel that way. That's sweet of you and I smile inside when I see you pretending to lose when you race your younger cousins , but if you always let people beat you they may never learn to work hard for something they want. It's okay to win, just win for the right reasons and always encourage those who lose. Oh, and Sawyer, I hope one day you read this. One day when it matters. If so, remember that the bottom of a mountain can be just as lonely as the top. I hope the two of you can learn to climb together one day. As I'm writing this you are trying to climb the big pine tree out back. Quin is at the top, rejoicing in his victory and taunting Sawyer. And Sawyer is at the bottom, afraid to get hurt and afraid to be sad about it. I'm going to go talk to you two separately now. I hope my words mean something. Love you boys, Mom
Marilyn Grey (When the City Sleeps (Unspoken #6))
Matt takes some time to settle himself before he speaks. When he does, he shares an anecdote about how Julie had written a book for him to have after she was gone, and she titled it, The Shortest Longest Romance: An Epic Love and Loss Story. He loses it here, then slowly composes himself and keeps going. He explains that in the book, he was surprised to find that near the end of the story—their story—Julie had included a chapter on how she hoped Matt would always have love in his life. She encouraged him to be honest and kind to what she called his “grief girlfriends”—the rebound girlfriends, the women he’ll date as he heals. Don’t mislead them, she wrote. Maybe you can get something from each other. She followed this with a charming and hilarious dating profile that Matt could use to find his grief girlfriends, and then she got more serious. She wrote the most achingly beautiful love letter in the form of another dating profile that Matt could use to find the person he’d end up with for good. She talked about his quirks, his devotion, their steamy sex life, the incredible family she inherited (and that, presumably, this new woman would inherit), and what an amazing father he’d be. She knew this, she wrote, because they got to be parents together—though in utero and for only a matter of months. The people in the crowd are simultaneously crying and laughing by the time Matt finishes reading. Everyone should have at least one epic love story in their lives, Julie concluded. Ours was that for me. If we’re lucky, we might get two. I wish you another epic love story. We all think it ends there, but then Matt says that he feels it’s only fair that Julie have love wherever she is too. So in that spirit, he says, he’s written her a dating profile for heaven. There are a few chuckles, although they’re hesitant at first. Is this too morbid? But no, it’s exactly what Julie would have wanted, I think. It’s out-there and uncomfortable and funny and sad, and soon everyone is laugh-sobbing with abandon. She hates mushrooms, Matt has written to her heavenly beau, don’t serve her anything with mushrooms. And If there’s a Trader Joe’s, and she says that she wants to work there, be supportive. You’ll also get great discounts. He goes on to talk about how Julie rebelled against death in many ways, but primarily by what Matt liked to call “doing kindnesses” for others, leaving the world a better place than she found it. He doesn’t enumerate them, but I know what they are—and the recipients of her kindnesses all speak about them anyway.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
How can I further encourage you to go about the business of life? Young women, I would say, and please attend, for the peroration is beginning, you are, in my opinion, disgracefully ignorant. You have never made a discovery of any sort of importance. You have never shaken an empire or led an army into battle. The plays of Shakespeare are not by you, and you have never introduced a barbarous race to the blessings of civilization. What is your excuse? It is all very blessings of civilisation. What is you excuse? it is all very well for you to say, pointing to the streets and squares and forests of the globe swarming with black and white and coffee-coloured inhabitants, all busily engaged in traffic and enterprise and love-making, we have had other work on our hands. Without our doing, those seas would be unsailed and those fertile lands a desert. We have borne and bred and washed and taught, perhaps to the age of six or seven years, the one thousand six hundred and twenty-three million human beings who are, according to statistics, at present in existence, and that, allowing that some had help, takes time. There is truth in what you say—I will not deny it. But at the same time may I remind you that there have been at least two colleges for women in existence in England since the year 1886; that after the year 1880 a married woman was allowed by the law to possess her own property; and that in 1919—which is a whole nine years ago—she was given a vote? May I also remind you that most of the professions have been open to you for close to ten years now? When you reflect upon these immense privileges and the length of time during which they have been enjoyed, and the fact that there must be at this moment some two thousand women capable of earning over five hundred a year in one way or another, you will agree that the excuse of lack of opportunity, training, encouragement, leisure and money no longer holds good. Moreover, the economists are telling us that Mrs. Seton has had too many children. You must, of course, go on bearing children, but, so they say, in twos and threes, not in tens and twelves. Thus, with some time on your hands and with some book learning in your brains—you have had enough of the other kind, and are sent to college partly, I suspect, to be uneducated—surely you should embark upon another stage of your very long, very laborious and highly obscure career. A thousand pens are ready to suggest what you should do and what effect you will have. My own suggestion is a little fantastic, I admit; I prefer, therefore, to put it in the form of fiction.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
We are here to swear a vow! As many of you have already noticed, this is no random field. It is an ancient site. A place of power. Holy to our family, to our ancestors, and, some say, even to those ancient ones who preceded us upon these lands. ‘We gather here on this day in the sight of one another to swear a binding oath. What we here swear is unrelenting and unending opposition to the Malazan Empire for so long as it shall endure. To never abandon or turn away from such opposition. To this cause all gathered here must give their individual agreement and binding commitment. Those of you who know doubt, or who feel unable to pledge yourselves utterly to this cause, are free to go. Nay, are encouraged to go. And all without rancour or ill-feelings.’ ‘So … this is my Vow. This is what I here pledge and what I, in turn, ask of anyone who would choose to follow me. Now … what say you,... ?
Ian C. Esslemont
... we might be drawn into a more left-centric way of hearing ... and experience the promotion of safety as a somewhat mechanical process in which A inevitably leads to B-- [ie: the belief that 'my being in a ventral state will automatically draw you into one, and if it doesn't then there is something wrong with one of us'.] Viewing it that way encourages us to turn social engagement into a technique, even a manipulation of the other person's nervous system toward what we view as a more desirable state. Ironically, when the left hemisphere is dominant rather than supportive of right-centric attending, we have already moved out of social engagement and thus are in no position to offer safe space to another. When we make an effort to return to it, we have forgotten that neuroception is continually arising automatically and not under the control of our will. The very pressure to activate ventral makes the space between us unsafe.
Bonnie Badenoch (The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships)
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” —Mark 1:35 2. Have an honest heart. “Call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”—Jeremiah 29:12-13 3. Open your Bible. “The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” —Hebrews 4:12 4. Have a genuine friend. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”—Hebrews 10:24-25 God has not meant for our lives to be empty. His plan is for us to live full and abundant lives (see John 10:10). As Rick Warren explains in his book The Purpose-Driven Life, “The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.”8 God did not make you to be empty. Walk with and in the purpose He has planned for you. Prayer: Father God, lift me out of a life of emptiness. You didn’t make me to be there, and that’s not where I will remain. With Your Spirit and power I will rise above this phase of emptiness and live an abundant life. Thank You for giving me a gentle whisper. Amen.   Action: If you find yourself in an empty stage of life, put into action this week the four steps that are given.   Today’s Wisdom: Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. —JEREMIAH 17:7-8
Emilie Barnes (Walk with Me Today, Lord: Inspiring Devotions for Women)
...it is essential that we make an important distinction between issues of politics and problems in psychology. We should see this as a distinction between what we do in order to influence the political and economic relations in the society and what, in a more personal way, we do to achieve self-knowledge and identity. Now I do not think that these are hard and fast categories that totally exclude one another. A just society certainly encourages a healthy psychology, and individuals can find personal fulfillment through political involvement. But I think we must make this distinction, because in periods of great social upheaval--and we are living through such a period--there is a tendency to politicize all things, including scholarship, art, friendship, and love. The most extreme form of this total politicization is totalitarianism, a stage we have not yet reached. But even a moderate form of it can be dangerous since it can lead to a politics so preoccupied with psychological issues that the goals of political action are obscured and even rendered unobtainable.
Bayard Rustin (Down The Line)
Let me tell you about this leg, Miss Oldridge," he said. "This used to be a modest, well-behaved leg, quietly going about its business, troubling nobody. But ever since it was hurt, it has become tyrannical." Her expression eased another degree, and amusement glinted in her eyes, like faint, distant stars in a midsummer night's sky. Encouraged, he went on, "This limb is selfish, surly, and ungrateful. When English medical expertise declared the case hopeless, we took the leg to a Turkish healer. He plied it with exotic unguents and cleaned and dressed it several times a day. By this means he staved off the fatal and malodorous infection it should have suffered otherwise. Was the leg grateful? Did it go back to work like a proper leg? No, it did not." Lips twitching, she made a sympathetic murmur. "This limb, madam," he said, "demanded months of boring exercises before it would condescend to perform the simplest movements. Even now, after nearly three years of devoted care and maintenance, it will fly into a fit over damp weather. And this, may I remind you, is an English leg, not one of your delicate foreign varieties.
Loretta Chase
My husband and I have been a part of the same small group for the past five years.... Like many small groups, we regularly share a meal together, love one another practically, and serve together to meet needs outside our small group. We worship, study God’s Word, and pray. It has been a rich time to grow in our understanding of God, what Jesus has accomplished for us, God’s purposes for us as a part of his kingdom, his power and desire to change us, and many other precious truths. We have grown in our love for God and others, and have been challenged to repent of our sin and trust God in every area of our lives. It was a new and refreshing experience for us to be in a group where people were willing to share their struggles with temptation and sin and ask for prayer....We have been welcomed by others, challenged to become more vulnerable, held up in prayer, encouraged in specific ongoing struggles, and have developed sweet friendships. I have seen one woman who had one foot in the world and one foot in the church openly share her struggles with us. We prayed that God would show her the way of escape from temptation many times and have seen God’s work in delivering her. Her openness has given us a front row seat to see the power of God intersect with her weakness. Her continued vulnerability and growth in godliness encourage us to be humble with one another, and to believe that God is able to change us too. Because years have now passed in close community, God’s work can be seen more clearly than on a week-by-week basis. One man who had some deep struggles and a lot of anger has grown through repenting of sin and being vulnerable one on one and in the group. He has been willing to hear the encouragement and challenges of others, and to stay in community throughout his struggle.... He has become an example in serving others, a better listener, and more gentle with his wife. As a group, we have confronted anxiety, interpersonal strife, the need to forgive, lust, family troubles, unbelief, the fear of man, hypocrisy, unemployment, sickness, lack of love, idolatry, and marital strife. We have been helped, held accountable, and lifted up by one another. We have also grieved together, celebrated together, laughed together, offended one another, reconciled with one another, put up with one another,...and sought to love God and one another. As a group we were saddened in the spring when a man who had recently joined us felt that we let him down by not being sensitive to his loneliness. He chose to leave. I say this because, with all the benefits of being in a small group, it is still just a group of sinners. It is Jesus who makes it worth getting together. Apart from our relationship with him...,we have nothing to offer. But because our focus is on Jesus, the group has the potential to make a significant and life-changing difference in all our lives. ...When 7 o’clock on Monday night comes around, I eagerly look forward to the sound of my brothers and sisters coming in our front door. I never know how the evening will go, what burdens people will be carrying, how I will be challenged, or what laughter or tears we will share. But I always know that the great Shepherd will meet us and that our lives will be richer and fuller because we have been together. ...I hope that by hearing my story you will be encouraged to make a commitment to become a part of a small group and experience the blessing of Christian community within the smaller, more intimate setting that it makes possible. 6
Timothy S. Lane (How People Change)
In every age a general misdirection of what may be called sexual "taste"... [is] produce[d by the devil and his angels]. This they do bu working through the small circle of artists, dressmakers, actresses, and advertisers who determine the fashionable type. The aim is to guide each sex away from those members of the other with whom spiritually helpful, happy, and fertile marriages are most likely. Thus [they] have now for many centuries triumphed over nature to the extent of making certain secondary characteristics of the male (such as the beard) disagreeable to nearly all the females-and there is more in that than you might suppose. As regards the male taste [they] have varied a good deal. At one time [they] have directed it to the statuesque and aristocratic type of beauty, mixing men's vanity with their desires and encouraging the race to breed chiefly from the most arrogant and prodigal women. At another, [they] have selected an exaggeratedly feminine type, faint and languishing, so that folly and cowardice, and all the general falseness and littleness of mind which go with them, shall be at a premium. At present [they] are on the opposite tack. The age of jazz has succeeded the age of the waltz, and [they] now teach men to like women whose bodies are scarcely distinguishable from those of boys. Since this is a kind of beauty even more transitory than most, [they] thus aggravate the female's chronic horror of growing old (with many [successful] results) and render her less willing and less able to bear children. And that is not all. [They] have engineered a great increase in the license which society allows to the representation of the apparent nude (not the real nude) in art, and its exhibition on the stage or the bathing beach. It is all a fake, or course; the figures in the popular art are falsely drawn; the real women in bathing suits or tights are actually pinched in and propped up to make them to appear firmer and more slender and more boyish than nature allows a full-grown woman to be. Yet at the same time, the modern world is taught to believe that it is being "frank" and "healthy" and getting back to nature. As a result [they] are more and more directing the desires of men to something which does not exist-making the role of the eye in sexuality more and more important and at the same time making its demands more and more impossible.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
He was smiling! That was it; her actual sunrise. It lit the candles of answers to every query of her life. . Having wings is one thing and flying another. Having eyes is one thing and dreaming another. Having a heart is one thing and falling in love, quite another. . Destiny is the root of all limitations and a dream is the seed for all liberations. . By the way, is it darkness that gives light an identity or is it the other way round? . If life is divided into two parts, then one part is definitely about living it and the other, about missing the moments lived. . How can I comfort anyone with words of hope when I am myself empty of it? . It might all sound bizarre to you because I am sharing my thoughts for her only today but believe me something happened from the first time I saw her. Something did happen. The air (or what was it?) told me she was mine though I was a little apprehensive to accept the fact then but now, I think I am in love. No, I know I am in love for the first time in my life. (Ritwika was just a crush). It’s crazy, I know. It’s only been few weeks that I first saw her. I haven’t even talked to her till now. But does that really matter? . What the fuck is it with first love? So many ifs and buts. Damn! . Seriously I do have something to tell God: It’s tough to be God, I know, but mind you it’s tougher to be human in this crazy fucking world of yours. . No one asked me or forced me not to hug happiness but I consciously chose to sleep with pain. . I am not happy so I can’t stand anyone who is. . But I am helpless…you are helpless…we are helpless…the world is helpless and even help is helpless. . It’s not about reaching the edge, it’s about the jump. A jump for onetime-the fall of a lifetime. . It was eight years ago but time doesn't heal all wounds. . Isn't it better to lie and encourage a significant construction than to speak the truth and witness destruction? . From today onwards Radhika is not only a part of my life but also a part of my heart, my mind, my soul, my will, my zeal, my happiness, my tears, my depression, my excitement, my interests, my decisions, my character and my identity. . The times that go away at the blink of an eye are actually the times which eventually get placed inside the safe of our most treasured memories. . Life is no movie where we need to necessarily get all things right by the end. . She is too sexy to forget.
Novoneel Chakraborty (A Thing Beyond Forever)
He opened his eyes then, white fire flaring hotly within them. “Send me home, Legna,” he commanded her, his voice hoarse with suppressed emotion. She moved her head in affirmation even as she leaned toward him to catch his mouth once more in a brief, territorial kiss, her teeth scoring his bottom lip as she broke away. It was an incidental wound, one he could heal in the blink of an eye. But he wouldn’t erase her mark on him, and they both knew it. Finally, she stepped back, closed her eyes, and concentrated on picturing his home in her thoughts. She had been in his parlor dozens of times as a guest, always accompanied by Noah. His library, his kitchen, even the grounds of the isolated estate were well known to her. She could have sent him to any of those locations. But as she began to focus, her mind’s eye was filled with the image of a dark, elegant room she had never seen before. Hand-carved ebony-paneled walls soared up into a vast ceiling, enormous windows of intricate stained glass spilled colored light over the entire room as if a multitude of rainbows had taken up residence. It all centered around an enormous bed, the coverlet’s color indistinguishable under the blanket of colorful dawn sunlight that streamed into the room. She could feel the sun’s warmth, ready and waiting to cocoon any weary occupant who thrived on sleeping in the heat of the muted daylight sun. It was a beautiful room, and she knew without a doubt that it was Gideon’s bedroom and that he had shared the image of it with her. If she sent him there, it would be the first time she had ever teleported someone to a place she had not first seen for herself. The ability to take images of places from others’ minds for teleporting purposes was an advanced Elder ability. “You can do it,” he encouraged her softly, all of his thoughts and his will completely full of his belief in that statement. Legna kept his gaze for one last long moment, and with a flick of a wrist sent him from the room with a soft pop of moving air. She exhaled in wonder, everything inside of her knowing without a doubt that he had appeared in his bedroom, safe and sound, that very next second. Legna turned to look at her own bed and wondered how she would ever be able to sleep. Nelissuna . . . go to bed. I will help you sleep. Gideon’s voice washed through her, warming her, comforting her in a way she hadn’t thought possible. This was the connection that Jacob and Isabella shared. For the rest of the time both of them lived, each would be privy to the other’s innermost thoughts. She realized that because he was the more powerful, it was quite possible he would be able to master parts of himself, probably even hide things from her awareness and keep them private—at least, until she learned how to work her new ability with better skill. After all, she was a Demon of the Mind. It was part of her innate state of being to figure the workings of their complex minds. She removed her slippers and pushed the sleeves of her dress from her shoulders so that it sheeted off her in one smooth whisper of fabric. She closed her eyes, avoiding looking in the mirror or at herself, very aware of Gideon’s eyes behind her own. His masculine laughter vibrated through her, setting her skin to tingle. So, you are both shy and bold . . . he said with amusement as she quickly slid beneath her covers. You are a source of contradictions and surprises, Legna. My world has begun anew. As if living for over a millennium is not long enough? she asked him. On the contrary. Without you, it was far, far too long. Go to sleep, Nelissuna. And a moment after she received the thought, her eyes slid closed with a weight she could not have contradicted even if she had wanted to. Her last thought, as she drifted off, was that she had to make a point of telling Isabella that she might have been wrong about what it meant to have another to share one’s mind with.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
Here is another example that demonstrates the tightly linked interests that both cause and treat cancer. In 1978, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), one of the largest companies in the world, specializing in agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, developed the cancer drug tamoxifen. In 1985, along with the American Cancer Society, ICI founded the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the aim of promoting mammography as the most effective tool against breast cancer. In 1990 Imperial Chemical Industries was accused of dumping DDT and PCBs, known carcinogens, into the Long Beach and Los Angeles harbors. Zeneca, producer of tamoxifen, demerged from ICI in 1993, and later merged with Astra AB in 1999 to form AstraZeneca. Astra AB had developed the herbicide acetochlor, classified by the EPA as a probable carcinogen. In 1997 Zeneca purchased Salick Health Care, a chain of for-profit outpatient cancer clinics. Subsequently AstraZeneca launched a major publicity campaign encouraging women to assess their risk factors for breast cancer, downplaying the dangers of tamoxifen in order to create a market for its prophylactic, or chemopreventative, use and, more recently, for the breast cancer drug Arimidex (anastrozole), approved in 2002 and used as an alternative to tamoxifen (Arimidex went off patent in 2010).
S. Lochlann Jain (Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us)
If there are so many references in the Mass to poverty, sadness, failure and loss, it is because the Church views the ill, the frail of mind, the desperate and the elderly as representing aspects of humanity and (even more meaningfully) of ourselves which we are tempted to deny, but which bring us, when we can acknowledge them, closer to our need for one another. In our more arrogant moments, the sin of pride – or superbia, in Augustine’s Latin formulation – takes over our personalities and shuts us off from those around us. We become dull to others when all we seek to do is assert how well things are going for us, just as friendship has a chance to grow only when we dare to share what we are afraid of and regret. The rest is merely showmanship. The Mass encourages this sloughing off of pride. The flaws whose exposure we so dread, the indiscretions we know we would be mocked for, the secrets that keep our conversations with our so-called friends superficial and inert – all of these emerge as simply part of the human condition. We have no reason left to dissemble or lie in a building dedicated to honouring the terror and weakness of a man who was nothing like the usual heroes of antiquity, nothing like the fierce soldiers of Rome’s army or the plutocrats of its Senate, and yet who was nevertheless worthy of being crowned the highest of men, the king of kings.
Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion)
While the Scripture encourages us to give up our liberties for the good of each other, the goal is not conformity. We sacrifice for each other because we are in relationship with each other, not in order to stay in relationship with each other. This nuance is essential because it helps us discern the difference between healthy and unhealthy communities. Because as much as healthy communities can lead us to wisdom and goodness, unhealthy communities can actually hinder our developing discernment. Another point that Jacobs makes in How to Think is how often we conform to community expectations and toe the party line, not because we are convinced it’s right or good, but because speaking out against it would jeopardize our membership in the group. Sometimes this may mean accepting bad treatment for ourselves, as in abusive relationships, or enabling the abuse of others, all in order to stay in the group. Jacobs says that we can tell the difference between an unhealthy community and a healthy one by its attitude toward discernment. An unhealthy community “discourages, mocks, and ruthlessly excludes those who ask uncomfortable questions. … The genuine community is open to thinking and questioning, so long as those thoughts and questions come from people of goodwill.”9 In fact, the dissenting voice is so important to finding goodness that God has equipped certain people with a particular gift for discernment.
Hannah Anderson (All That's Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment)
If the queen catches you in here again, Princess, she'll sentence you to do the dishes right alongside me! she heard another voice ring out. No one was there, but Snow knew the voice. It was Mrs. Kindred, the cook who had survived her aunt's dismissals over the years. When Snow's mother was alive, she'd encouraged her daughter to be friendly with those who helped them in the castle, and Mrs. Kindred had always been Snow's favorite person to chat with. She could see herself sitting on a chair, no more than six or seven, watching Mrs. Kindred chop onions, carrots, and leeks and throw them all into a giant pot of broth. She and Mrs. Kindred only stole a few moments together most days now- she suspected her aunt must have forbidden the cook from talking to her, what with how Mrs. Kindred always quickly sent Snow on her way- but back then she had always peppered the cook with questions. ("How do you cut the carrots so small? Why do leeks have sand in them? What spices are you going to add? How do you know how much to put in?") On one such occasion, she'd been such a distraction that Mrs. Kindred had finally picked her up, holding her high on her broad chest, and let her stir the pot herself. Eventually, she taught her how to dice and chop, too, since Snow wouldn't stop talking. By suppertime, young Snow had convinced herself she'd made the whole meal. She had been proud, too, carrying the dishes out to the dining table that night.
Jen Calonita (Mirror, Mirror)
can …’ As I listened, I looked up at the white clouds drifting past. Finally, they had opened – it had started to snow – snowflakes were falling outside. I opened the window and reached out my hand. I caught a snowflake. I watched it disappear, vanish from my fingertip. I smiled. And I went to catch another one. Acknowledgements I’m hugely indebted to my agent, Sam Copeland, for making all this happen. And I’m especially grateful to my editors – Ben Willis in the United Kingdom and Ryan Doherty in the United States – for making the book so much better. I also want to thank Hal Jensen and Ivàn Fernandez Soto for their invaluable comments; Kate White for years of showing me how good therapy works; the young people and staff at Northgate and everything they taught me; Diane Medak for letting me use her house as a writing retreat; Uma Thurman and James Haslam for making me a better writer. And for all their helpful suggestions, and encouragement, Emily Holt, Victoria Holt, Vanessa Holt, Nedie Antoniades, and Joe Adams. Author Biography Alex Michaelides read English at Cambridge University and screenwriting at the American Film Institute. He wrote the film Devil You Know starring Rosamund Pike, and co-wrote The Con is On. His debut novel, The Silent Patient, is also being developed into a major motion picture, and has been sold in thirty-nine territories worldwide. Born in Cyprus to a Greek-Cypriot father and English mother, Michaelides now lives in London, England.
Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)
The alienating effects of wealth and modernity on the human experience start virtually at birth and never let up. Infants in hunter-gatherer societies are carried by their mothers as much as 90 percent of the time, which roughly corresponds to carrying rates among other primates. One can get an idea of how important this kind of touch is to primates from an infamous experiment conducted in the 1950s by a primatologist and psychologist named Harry Harlow. Baby rhesus monkeys were separated from their mothers and presented with the choice of two kinds of surrogates: a cuddly mother made out of terry cloth or an uninviting mother made out of wire mesh. The wire mesh mother, however, had a nipple that dispensed warm milk. The babies took their nourishment as quickly as possible and then rushed back to cling to the terry cloth mother, which had enough softness to provide the illusion of affection. Clearly, touch and closeness are vital to the health of baby primates—including humans. In America during the 1970s, mothers maintained skin-to-skin contact with babies as little as 16 percent of the time, which is a level that traditional societies would probably consider a form of child abuse. Also unthinkable would be the modern practice of making young children sleep by themselves. In two American studies of middle-class families during the 1980s, 85 percent of young children slept alone in their own room—a figure that rose to 95 percent among families considered “well educated.” Northern European societies, including America, are the only ones in history to make very young children sleep alone in such numbers. The isolation is thought to make many children bond intensely with stuffed animals for reassurance. Only in Northern European societies do children go through the well-known developmental stage of bonding with stuffed animals; elsewhere, children get their sense of safety from the adults sleeping near them. The point of making children sleep alone, according to Western psychologists, is to make them “self-soothing,” but that clearly runs contrary to our evolution. Humans are primates—we share 98 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees—and primates almost never leave infants unattended, because they would be extremely vulnerable to predators. Infants seem to know this instinctively, so being left alone in a dark room is terrifying to them. Compare the self-soothing approach to that of a traditional Mayan community in Guatemala: “Infants and children simply fall asleep when sleepy, do not wear specific sleep clothes or use traditional transitional objects, room share and cosleep with parents or siblings, and nurse on demand during the night.” Another study notes about Bali: “Babies are encouraged to acquire quickly the capacity to sleep under any circumstances, including situations of high stimulation, musical performances, and other noisy observances which reflect their more complete integration into adult social activities.
Sebastian Junger (Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging)
January 31 The Holy Spirit – Our Helper “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.”—John 14:16-17 My son played basketball in high school. I enjoyed watching, and could understand the game fairly well. But when my husband said, “He’s got to pick and roll”, I couldn’t understand. I was not fitted with the innate capacity to see it. In decorating, using color I say, “That red is not right. It has yellow in it. We need one with more blue.” My husband stares and says, “What do you mean? Red is red.” Of course, that’s not true! He is not fitted to see it. When Jesus left the earth, God the Father sent His Holy Spirit to be our Counselor. He was the One designated to walk along beside us to help us, show us the way, and reveal truth. As we study scripture, the Holy Spirit is the One who makes us fitted to understand it. He opens our spiritual eyes to see the truth. Jesus said the world (those without Christ) would not see or know Him. They are not able to understand spiritual truths—they are not fitted to see. That’s why they often don’t understand Christians. What a wonderful gift the Holy Spirit is. He is our helper. We don’t have to make it on our own. We have His presence to help us, enable us, and work through us. If you are a believer, you have the Holy Spirit living in you. Thank God today for His fitting you with this blessed gift.
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
Ranulf stared blankly into the campfire, trying to ignore Lily. "White horses always look dirty," Lily told the young smitten soldier sitting beside her. "That's why I refuse to ride them.Brown ones may be just as filthy,but at least I cannot see the dirt. Black ones less so,but I have found that in general dark horses suit me better." "You just think you look better on them," Edythe protested before succumbing to several seconds of coughing. Bronwyn studied her redheaded sister for a moment.Tyr put another blanket around Edythe's shoulders and eventually the coughs quieted. Turning her attention to Ranulf,Bronwyn promised him softly, "You'll have to ignore them." Ranulf grimaced and sent a reproving look to his youngest sister-in-law. It,just like the others he had sent Lily throughout the day,changed nothing. "I just find it hard to reconcile the child I hear now with the woman who appeared after your death. With you gone,she had to grow up.Now that you are back..." Bronwyn snuggled up against his side with a sigh. "I admit I encourage it.Life will force Lily to grow up soon enough and I am glad it was not my death that thrust it upon her. In the meantime,you ignore her prattle and I'll just be amused it," she advised before planting a gentle kiss on his arm. Ranulf,with his free hand, raked his fingers through his short hair. How had he gotten into this predicament? But it took only one look at the huddled form next to him to remember exactly how. Bronwyn. He had wanted to make her happy. After thinking her lost to him forever, he would have promised her anything, even the moon.
Michele Sinclair (The Christmas Knight)
History is storytelling,’” Yaw repeated. He walked down the aisles between the rows of seats, making sure to look each boy in the eye. Once he finished walking and stood in the back of the room, where the boys would have to crane their necks in order to see him, he asked, “Who would like to tell the story of how I got my scar?” The students began to squirm, their limbs growing limp and wobbly. They looked at each other, coughed, looked away. “Don’t be shy,” Yaw said, smiling now, nodding encouragingly. “Peter?” he asked. The boy who only seconds before had been so happy to speak began to plead with his eyes. The first day with a new class was always Yaw’s favorite. “Mr. Agyekum, sah?” Peter said. “What story have you heard? About my scar?” Yaw asked, smiling still, hoping, now to ease some of the child’s growing fear. Peter cleared his throat and looked at the ground. “They say you were born of fire,” he started. “That this is why you are so smart. Because you were lit by fire.” “Anyone else?” Timidly, a boy named Edem raised his hand. “They say your mother was fighting evil spirits from Asamando.” Then William: “I heard your father was so sad by the Asante loss that he cursed the gods, and the gods took vengeance.” Another, named Thomas: “I heard you did it to yourself, so that you would have something to talk about on the first day of class.” All the boys laughed, and Yaw had to stifle his own amusement. Word of his lesson had gotten around, he knew. The older boys told some of the younger ones what to expect from him. Still, he continued, making his way back to the front of the room to look at his students, the bright boys from the uncertain Gold Coast, learning the white book from a scarred man. “Whose story is correct?” Yaw asked them. They looked around at the boys who had spoken, as though trying to establish their allegiance by holding a gaze, casting a vote by sending a glance. Finally, once the murmuring subsided, Peter raised his hand. “Mr. Agyekum, we cannot know which story is correct.” He looked at the rest of the class, slowly understanding. “We cannot know which story is correct because we were not there.” Yaw nodded. He sat in his chair at the front of the room and looked at all the young men. “This is the problem of history. We cannot know that which we were not there to see and hear and experience for ourselves. We must rely upon the words of others. Those who were there in the olden days, they told stories to the children so that the children would know, so that the children could tell stories to their children. And so on, and so on. But now we come upon the problem of conflicting stories. Kojo Nyarko says that when the warriors came to his village their coats were red, but Kwame Adu says that they were blue. Whose story do we believe, then?” The boys were silent. They stared at him, waiting. “We believe the one who has the power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must always ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there, you begin to get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
Both we and the Drakon look alike externally and we both look like humans. The difference between the two of us is that we, as Nomorians, are a peaceful species who spent their time and energy on scientific advancements. Drakons, on the other hand, are mainly about military and weaponry and going into wars. They were not like this hundreds of years ago but some dramatic event changed all of their priorities and made them what they are now. That is a story that we can discuss later. “They went to wars under the leadership of Zondar. He was a fearless immortal who had been leading Drakons for hundreds of years. No one knew the truth about where he came from or how he became immortal but the Drakons feared and respected him very much. “Due to the fact that we are a peaceful species and our main focus was on the welfare of our kind, except for a small army that we had, we did not have enough firepower to win such a war. “If Gonar had not encouraged the twelve councilors of Nomory to listen to me and start building a weaponry science department, we would not have the chance to escape from our planet. We would have been killed immediately after the invasion. “During my last meeting with the councilors and because all the signs showed we were going to lose this war, I suggested to send one hundred of our best scientists covered by our small army to another planet which we called Bluwenda, the name we used for planet Earth. The idea was to send them to Earth, twenty years in the past to give them a chance to build a stronger army with more advanced weaponry in case we lost the war. So we would be ready to repel the attack and win
Mohamed Moshrif (Legends: The Beginning)
I was lucky to receive it. Most rogue interns never get a second chance. And here it’s worth mentioning that I benefited from what was known in 2009 as being fortunate, and is now more commonly called privilege. It’s not like I flashed an Ivy League gang sign and was handed a career. If I had stood on a street corner yelling, “I’m white and male, and the world owes me something!” it’s unlikely doors would have opened. What I did receive, however, was a string of conveniences, do-overs, and encouragements. My parents could help me pay rent for a few months out of school. I went to a university lousy with successful D.C. alumni. No less significantly, I avoided the barriers that would have loomed had I belonged to a different gender or race. Put another way, I had access to a network whether I was bullshit or not. A friend’s older brother worked as a speechwriter for John Kerry. When my Crisis Hut term expired, he helped me find an internship at West Wing Writers, a firm founded by former speechwriters for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. In the summer of 2009, my new bosses upgraded me to full-time employee. Without meaning to, I had stumbled upon the chance to learn a skill. The firm’s partners were four of the best writers in Washington, and each taught me something different. Vinca LaFleur helped me understand the benefits of subtle but well-timed alliteration. Paul Orzulak showed me how to coax speakers into revealing the main idea they hope to express. From Jeff Shesol, I learned that while speechwriting is as much art as craft, and no two sets of remarks are alike, there’s a reason most speechwriters punctuate long, flowy sentences with short, punchy ones. It works.
David Litt (Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years)
Information or allegations reflecting negatively on individuals or groups seen less sympathetically by the intelligentsia pass rapidly into the public domain with little scrutiny and much publicity. Two of the biggest proven hoaxes of our time have involved allegations of white men gang-raping a black woman-- first the Tawana Brawley hoax of 1987 and later the false rape charges against three Duke University students in 2006. In both cases, editorial indignation rang out across the land, without a speck of evidence to substantiate either of these charges. Moreover, the denunciations were not limited to the particular men accused, but were often extended to society at large, of whom these men were deemed to be symptoms or 'the tip of the iceberg.' In both cases, the charges fit a pre-existing vision, and that apparently made mundane facts unnecessary. Another widely publicized hoax-- one to which the President of the United States added his sub-hoax-- was a 1996 story appearing in USA Today under the headline, 'Arson at Black Churches Echoes Bigotry of the Past.' There was, according to USA Today, 'an epidemic of church burning,' targeting black churches. Like the gang-rape hoaxes, this story spread rapidly through the media. The Chicago Tribune referred to 'an epidemic of criminal and cowardly arson' leaving black churches in ruins. As with the gang-rape hoaxes, comments on the church fire stories went beyond those who were supposed to have set these fires to blame forces at work in society at large. Jesse Jackson was quoted was quoted in the New York Times as calling these arsons part of a 'cultural conspiracy' against blacks, which 'reflected the heightened racial tensions in the south that have been exacerbated by the assault on affirmative action and the populist oratory of Republican politicians like Pat Buchanan.' Time magazine writer Jack White likewise blamed 'the coded phrases' of Republican leaders for 'encouraging the arsonists.' Columnist Barbara Reynolds of USA Today said that the fires were 'an attempt to murder the spirit of black America.' New York Times columnist Bob Herbert said, "The fuel for these fires can be traced to a carefully crafted environment of bigotry and hatred that was developed over the last century.' As with the gang-rape hoaxes, the charges publicized were taken as reflecting on the whole society, not just those supposedly involved in what was widely presumed to be arson, rather than fires that break out for a variety of other reasons. Washington Post columnist Dorothy Gilliam said that society in effect was 'giving these arsonists permission to commit these horrible crimes.' The climax of these comments came when President Bill Clinton, in his weekly radio address, said that these church burnings recalled similar burnings of black churches in Arkansas when he was a boy. There were more that 2,000 media stories done on the subject after the President's address. This story began to unravel when factual research showed that (1) no black churches were burned in Arkansas when Bill Clinton was growing up, (2) there had been no increase in fires at black churches, but an actual decrease over the previous 15 years, (3) the incidence of fires at white churches was similar to the incidence of fires at black churches, and (4) where there was arson, one-third of the suspects were black. However, retractions of the original story-- where there were retractions at all-- typically were given far less prominence than the original banner headlines and heated editorial comments.
Thomas Sowell (Intellectuals and Society)
The important parts of my story, I was realizing, lay less in the surface value of my accomplishments and more in what undergirded them—the many small ways I’d been buttressed over the years, and the people who’d helped build my confidence over time. I remembered them all, every person who’d ever waved me forward, doing his or her best to inoculate me against the slights and indignities I was certain to encounter in the places I was headed—all those environments built primarily for and by people who were neither black nor female. I thought of my great-aunt Robbie and her exacting piano standards, how she’d taught me to lift my chin and play my heart out on a baby grand even if all I’d ever known was an upright with broken keys. I thought of my father, who showed me how to box and throw a football, same as Craig. There were Mr. Martinez and Mr. Bennett, my teachers at Bryn Mawr, who never dismissed my opinions. There was my mom, my staunchest support, whose vigilance had saved me from languishing in a dreary second-grade classroom. At Princeton, I’d had Czerny Brasuell, who encouraged me and fed my intellect in new ways. And as a young professional, I’d had, among others, Susan Sher and Valerie Jarrett—still good friends and colleagues many years later—who showed me what it looked like to be a working mother and consistently opened doors for me, certain I had something to offer. These were people who mostly didn’t know one another and would never have occasion to meet, many of whom I’d fallen out of touch with myself. But for me, they formed a meaningful constellation. These were my boosters, my believers, my own personal gospel choir, singing, Yes, kid, you got this! all the way through. I’d never forgotten it. I’d tried, even as a junior lawyer, to pay it forward, encouraging curiosity when I saw it, drawing younger people into important conversations.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
1. Commit to take the lead in the godliness of your relationship. Read the Bible's passages about how men and women and all Christians should treat one another. Especially take the lead in establishing boundaries that will keep you from sexual sin. Assume that this woman is going to be your wife or the wife of some other Christian brother (who might be currently dating your future wife). Treat her as the precious sister in Christ that she is. 2. Decide in advance whether or not you are willing to love a woman in the self-sacrificing, nurturing way the Bible describes. Until you are ready to faithfully hold a woman's heart in your hand, do not enter into a dating relationship. 3. Realizing that God wants you to learn to put her interests ahead of your own, ask her the kinds of things she likes to do and be eager to spend time doing them. 4. Be willing to talk about the relationship. Initiate honest dialogue about how you feel. Do not resent her desire to have the relationship defined, but protect her heart by making your level of commitment clear and thereby making clear the appropriate kind of intimacy to go along with that commitment. 5. Pay attention to her heart. Ask her about her burdens and cares. Seek ways to minister to her and to make her cares your own. Instead of being critical of her, speak words of encouragement and support. 6. Do not be shy in ministering the Word of God to her. Do not preach, but exhort her and call to mind God's promises and God's love for her in Jesus Christ. Make it a primary goal that she will be spiritually stronger by having been in a relationship with you. 7. If something about her bothers you, think about how you can encourage her in that area. Realize that none of us is without flaws. Pray for her weakness and try to strengthen her in that area. If your concerns are enough to deter you from wanting to marry her, let her know in a forthright manner while being as considerate as possible.
Richard D. Phillips (Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating)
He seemed a little surprised that writers in America do not get together, do not associate with one another very much. In the Soviet Union writers are very important people. Stalin has said that writers are the architects of the human soul. We explained to him that writers in America have quite a different standing, that they are considered just below acrobats and just above seals. And in our opinion this is a very good thing. We believe that a writer, particularly a young writer, too much appreciated, is as likely to turn as heady as a motion-picture actress with good notices in the trade journals. And we believe that the rough-and-tumble critical life an American writer is subject to is very healthy for him in the long run. It seems to us that one of the deepest divisions between the Russians and the Americans or British, is in their feeling toward their governments. The Russians are taught, and trained, and encouraged to believe that their government is good, that every part of it is good, and that their job is to carry it forward, to back it up in all ways. On the other hand, the deep emotional feeling among Americans and British is that all government is somehow dangerous, that there should be as little government as possible, that any increase in the power of government is bad, and that existing government must be watched constantly, watched and criticized to keep it sharp and on its toes. And later, on the farms, when we sat at table with farming men, and they asked how our government operated, we would try to explain that such was our fear of power invested in one man, or in one group of men, that our government was made up of a series of checks and balances, designed to keep power from falling into any one person’s hands. We tried to explain that the people who made our government, and those who continue it, are so in fear of power that they would willingly cut off a good leader rather than permit a precedent of leadership. I do not think we were thoroughly understood in this, since the training of the people of the Soviet Union is that the leader is good and the leadership is good. There is no successful argument here, it is just the failure of two systems to communicate one with the other.
John Steinbeck (A Russian Journal)
I went straight upstairs to my bedroom after Marlboro Man and I said good night. I had to finish packing…and I had to tend to my face, which was causing me more discomfort by the minute. I looked in the bathroom mirror; my face was sunburn red. Irritated. Inflamed. Oh no. What had Prison Matron Cindy done to me? What should I do? I washed my face with cool water and a gentle cleaner and looked in the mirror. It was worse. I looked like a freako lobster face. It would be a great match for the cherry red suit I planned to wear to the rehearsal dinner the next night. But my white dress for Saturday? That was another story. I slept like a log and woke up early the next morning, opening my eyes and forgetting for a blissful four seconds about the facial trauma I’d endured the day before. I quickly brought my hands to my face; it felt tight and rough. I leaped out of bed and ran to the bathroom, flipping on the light and looking in the mirror to survey the state of my face. The redness had subsided; I noticed that immediately. This was a good development. Encouraging. But upon closer examination, I could see the beginning stages of pruney lines around my chin and nose. My stomach lurched; it was the day of the rehearsal. It was the day I’d see not just my friends and family who, I was certain, would love me no matter what grotesque skin condition I’d contracted since the last time we saw one another, but also many, many people I’d never met before--ranching neighbors, cousins, business associates, and college friends of Marlboro Man’s. I wasn’t thrilled at the possibility that their first impression of me might be something that involved scales. I wanted to be fresh. Dewy. Resplendent. Not rough and dry and irritated. Not now. Not this weekend. I examined the damage in the mirror and deduced that the plutonium Cindy the Prison Matron had swabbed on my face the day before had actually been some kind of acid peel. The burn came first. Logic would follow that what my face would want to do next would be to, well, peel. This could be bad. This could be real, real bad. What if I could speed along that process? Maybe if I could feed the beast’s desire to slough, it would leave me alone--at least for the next forty-eight hours. All I wanted was forty-eight hours. I didn’t think it was too much to ask.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Reduce Self-Criticism Reducing self-criticism is a critical part of reducing rumination. Self-criticism is a fuel source for your rumination fire. People use self-criticism to try to encourage themselves to do better in the future. For example, someone might ruminate after overeating or if she perceives she has mucked up a social situation, and then mentally beat herself up about her mistakes. However, harsh self-criticism doesn’t help you move forward because it isn’t a very effective motivational tool, especially if you’re already ruminating. People who are in a pattern of trying to use self-criticism as motivation often fear that reducing it will make them lazy. It won’t. In fact, giving yourself a compassionate rather than a critical message will often lead to working harder. For example, one study showed that people who took a hard test and got a compassionate message afterward were willing to study longer for a future similar test, compared to a group of people who took the same test but didn’t get a compassionate message. Giving yourself a simple “don’t be too hard on yourself” message will propel you toward taking useful problem-solving steps. Acknowledging the emotions you’re feeling (such as embarrassed, disappointed, upset) and then giving yourself compassion will lead to your making better choices than criticizing yourself will. Self-compassion will give you the clear mental space you need to make good decisions. Experiment: To practice using self-compassion as an alternative to self-criticism, try the following three-minute writing exercise. There are two versions of this exercise—one that involves thinking about a past mistake and another that involves thinking about something you perceive as a major weakness. Identify a mistake or weakness that you want to focus on, and then write for three minutes using the following instructions: “Imagine that you are talking to yourself about this weakness (or mistake) from a compassionate and understanding perspective. What would you say?” Try this experiment now, or store it away for a future situation in which you find yourself ruminating about a mistake or weakness. This experiment comes from the same series of research studies as the one involving the hard test mentioned earlier. Note that the study participants didn’t receive training in how to write compassionate messages. What they naturally came up with in response to the prompt worked.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
During this time my father was in a labor camp, for the crime of wanting to leave the country, and my mother struggled to care for us, alone and with few provisions. One day she went out to the back patio to do the wash and saw a cute little frog sitting by the door to the kitchen. My mother has always liked frogs, and this frog by the kitchen door gave her an idea. She began to spin wonderful stories about a crazy, adventurous frog named Antonica who would overcome great odds with her daring and creativity. Antonica helped us dream of freedom and possibilities. These exciting tales were reserved for mealtime. We ate until our bowls were empty, distracted from the bland food by the flavor of Antonica’s world. Mamina knew her children were well nourished, comforted, and prepared for the challenges and adventures to come. In 2007, I was preparing to host a TV show on a local station and was struggling with self-doubt. With encouragement and coaching from a friend, I finally realized that I had been preparing for this opportunity most of my life. All I needed was confidence in myself, the kind of confidence Antonica had taught me about, way back in Cuba. Through this process of self-discovery, the idea came to me to start cooking with my mother. We all loved my Mamina’s cooking, but I had never been interested in learning to cook like her. I began to write down her recipes and take pictures of her delicious food. I also started to write down the stories I had heard from my parents, of our lives in Cuba and coming to the United States. At some point I realized I had ninety recipes. This is a significant number to Cuban exiles, as there are ninety miles between Cuba and Key West, Florida. A relatively short distance, but oh, so far! My effort to grow closer to my mother through cooking became another dream waiting to be fulfilled, through a book called 90 Miles 90 Recipes: My Journey to Understanding. My mother now seemed as significant as our journey to the United States. While learning how she orchestrated these flavors, I began to understand my mother as a woman with many gifts. Through cooking together, my appreciation for her has grown. I’ve come to realize why feeding everyone was so important to her. Nourishing the body is part of nurturing the soul. My mother is doing very poorly now. Most of my time in the last few months has been dedicated to caring for her. Though our book has not yet been published, it has already proven valuable. It has taught me about dreams from a different perspective—helping me recognize that the lives my sisters and I enjoy are the realization of my parents’ dream of freedom and opportunity for them, and especially for us.
Whitney Johnson (Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream)
Cultivate Spiritual Allies One of the most significant things you learn from the life of Paul is that the self-made man is incomplete. Paul believed that mature manhood was forged in the body of Christ In his letters, Paul talks often about the people he was serving and being served by in the body of Christ. As you live in the body of Christ, you should be intentional about cultivating at least three key relationships based on Paul’s example: 1. Paul: You need a mentor, a coach, or shepherd who is further along in their walk with Christ. You need the accountability and counsel of more mature men. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Typically there’s more demand than supply for mentors. Some churches try to meet this need with complicated mentoring matchmaker type programs. Typically, you can find a mentor more naturally than that. Think of who is already in your life. Is there an elder, a pastor, a professor, a businessman, or other person that you already respect? Seek that man out; let him know that you respect the way he lives his life and ask if you can take him out for coffee or lunch to ask him some questions — and then see where it goes from there. Don’t be surprised if that one person isn’t able to mentor you in everything. While he may be a great spiritual mentor, you may need other mentors in the areas of marriage, fathering, money, and so on. 2. Timothy: You need to be a Paul to another man (or men). God calls us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19). The books of 1st and 2nd Timothy demonstrate some of the investment that Paul made in Timothy as a younger brother (and rising leader) in the faith. It’s your job to reproduce in others the things you learn from the Paul(s) in your life. This kind of relationship should also be organic. You don’t need to approach strangers to offer your mentoring services. As you lead and serve in your spheres of influence, you’ll attract other men who want your input. Don’t be surprised if they don’t quite know what to ask of you. One practical way to engage with someone who asks for your input is to suggest that they come up with three questions that you can answer over coffee or lunch and then see where it goes from there. 3. Barnabas: You need a go-to friend who is a peer. One of Paul’s most faithful ministry companions was named Barnabas. Acts 4:36 tells us that Barnabas’s name means “son of encouragement.” Have you found an encouraging companion in your walk with Christ? Don’t take that friendship for granted. Enjoy the blessing of friendship, of someone to walk through life with. Make it a priority to build each other up in the faith. Be a source of sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17) and friendly wounds (Proverbs 27:6) for each other. But also look for ways to work together to be disruptive — in the good sense of that word. Challenge each other in breaking the patterns of the world around you in order to interrupt it with the Gospel. Consider all the risky situations Paul and Barnabas got themselves into and ask each other, “what are we doing that’s risky for the Gospel?
Randy Stinson (A Guide To Biblical Manhood)
A similar theological—and particularly ecclesiological—logic shapes the Durham Declaration, a manifesto against abortion addressed specifically to the United Methodist Church by a group of United Methodist pastors and theologians. The declaration is addressed not to legislators or the public media but to the community of the faithful. It concludes with a series of pledges, including the following: We pledge, with Cod’s help, to become a church that hospitably provides safe refuge for the so-called “unwanted child” and mother. We will joyfully welcome and generously support—with prayer, friendship, and material resources—both child and mother. This support includes strong encouragement for the biological father to be a father, in deed, to his child.27 No one can make such a pledge lightly. A church that seriously attempted to live out such a commitment would quickly find itself extended to the limits of its resources, and its members would be called upon to make serious personal sacrifices. In other words, it would find itself living as the church envisioned by the New Testament. William H. Willimon tells the story of a group of ministers debating the morality of abortion. One of the ministers argues that abortion is justified in some cases because young teenage girls cannot possibly be expected to raise children by themselves. But a black minister, the pastor of a large African American congregation, takes the other side of the question. “We have young girls who have this happen to them. I have a fourteen year old in my congregation who had a baby last month. We’re going to baptize the child next Sunday,” he added. “Do you really think that she is capable of raising a little baby?” another minister asked. “Of course not,” he replied. No fourteen year old is capable of raising a baby. For that matter, not many thirty year olds are qualified. A baby’s too difficult for any one person to raise by herself.” “So what do you do with babies?” they asked. “Well, we baptize them so that we all raise them together. In the case of that fourteen year old, we have given her baby to a retired couple who have enough time and enough wisdom to raise children. They can then raise the mama along with her baby. That’s the way we do it.”28 Only a church living such a life of disciplined service has the possibility of witnessing credibly to the state against abortion. Here we see the gospel fully embodied in a community that has been so formed by Scripture that the three focal images employed throughout this study can be brought to bear also on our “reading” of the church’s action. Community: the congregation’s assumption of responsibility for a pregnant teenager. Cross: the young girl’s endurance of shame and the physical difficulty of pregnancy, along with the retired couple’s sacrifice of their peace and freedom for the sake of a helpless child. New creation: the promise of baptism, a sign that the destructive power of the world is broken and that this child receives the grace of God and hope for the future.29 There, in microcosm, is the ethic of the New Testament. When the community of God’s people is living in responsive obedience to God’s Word, we will find, again and again, such grace-filled homologies between the story of Scripture and its performance in our midst.
Richard B. Hays (The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New CreationA Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethic)
In Romans 12:4-8, Paul writes about gifts: “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.” Recognize that the gifts inside you are not only for you; just as the gifts inside other people around you are not only for them. We are meant to help each other. God designed us this way on purpose! All being members of one body, our successes are shared — there is no need to be threatened by another person’s gift. Use your gifts, and encourage the people in your life to use their gifts as well. You will be blessed as a result! Unfortunately, one thing that keeps us from asking for help or taking advantage of the talents in people around us is pride. Never allow pride to keep you from asking for counsel when it is needed! 1 Corinthians 12:20 is another passage about gifts: “now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ ” We need each other, and joining our gifts together will result in a much stronger body. If you have time, read 1 Corinthians 12:4-20. Reflect on how there can be unity in the diversity of gifts if we use our different gifts properly. Determine that you will not be threatened by anyone else’s gifts! Esther was not afraid of the gifts in the people around her. Let’s see how she responds to the wisdom of others today. And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her. Esther 2:11 Every day, Mordecai goes to the palace gates to inquire after Esther and learn of what was happening to her. He goes to the palace gates with purpose. He paces in front of the women’s court until he has learns the day’s news about Esther. Even though she is no longer under his roof, he stills feels a strong responsibility toward her, and acts accordingly. He is a faithful man, and has set a great example before Esther. The news that he hears concerning Esther daily must be good: her inward beauty and submission to authority are two of the many wonderful traits that God placed in her so that she will be effective in Persia. Even though Esther is in an unfamiliar place and experiencing “firsts” every day in the palace, God is making sure she has what she needs. Esther did not need to feel nervous! She needed wise counsel; it has been provided for her in Mordecai and Hegai. She needs a pleasant and patient personality; that has been being developed in her by the Lord for many years. In your own life, you are constantly undergoing change and growth as you are submitting to the Lord. Whether or not you can see it, God is continually preparing you for what lies ahead so that you will have what you need when you need it. The God who loves you so much knows your future, and He is preparing you today for what you will experience tomorrow. Esther is receiving what she needs as well. She is in the palace undergoing her beauty preparations — a twelve month process! Even through this extended period of time, Mordecai is still at the palace gates every day (the Bible does not say that he stopped his concern for her at any point). It is an entire
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)